You love your pets, but there’s no denying that they can make certain things more challenging – renting an apartment, for example. If you’re moving into a new apartment with your furry family members, these tips will help.
- Screen for pet friendly communities. There’s no point in getting excited over an apartment or rental house only to find out you can’t move in with your pet. Screen for pet friendly communities to avoid wasting time or risking disappointment. Most online searches, including ForRent.com, have this as a filter option.
- Don’t assume that pet friendly communities will accept all pets. An apartment or rental house that allows pets may not allow exotic pets. Even if you have dogs, apartments may have restrictions on size and breed. If you have more than one pet, the number of pets allowed is also an issue. Ask about any pet restrictions before you view an apartment.
- Be ready to pay extra. Hawaii law lets landlords charge an extra security deposit to compensate for any damage caused by the tenant’s pet. If you have a pet, expect to be charged extra.
- Don’t try to keep your pet a secret. You may be tempted to avoid pet restrictions or security deposits by keeping your pet a secret, but this is a risky idea. Your pet could be discovered in many ways. Someone might see you bringing your pet to vet or carrying pet food into your home. Someone performing maintenance might see the pet. If you get caught, you could be charged expensive fees. Even worse, you could have to choose between getting rid or your pet or facing eviction. Don’t do it.
- Pet proof your apartment when you move in. You need to look for two things when you move a pet into your rented home. First, you want to make sure the home is safe for your pet. You may need to use pet gates or take other measures to keep your pet out of dangerous areas. Second, you want to make sure the home is safe from your pet. If you have a pet that likes to dig by the door, for example, a well-placed rug may save the carpet from damage.
- Prevent noise issues. Does your dog bark when you’re gone? You may need to talk to your neighbors to find out. If this is a problem, don’t ignore it. Look for a way to calm your pet. Your dog might need more training or exercise.
- Clean up after your pet. If you take your dog on walks, make sure you clean up after your pet. Some communities may charge fees if you get caught leaving a mess. A few may even use DNA testing to identify pets and their irresponsible owners. Even if you don’t get caught, you should be a good neighbor and clean up. Otherwise, some landlords might rethink their pet-friendly policies.
If you have a pet, it’s important to carry renters insurance. This article provides details. You may even want to consider an umbrella insurance policy for an extra layer of liability insurance protection. Ask your independent agent for more information.