Everyone wants to bring along their animal family members when moving into a new house. Renters, however, need to pass the extra hurdle of obtaining approval from property managers and homeowners.
Landlords often consider pets a risk, especially where irresponsible owners and repair expenses are concerned.
Property ads will usually spell out when fur babies are outright forbidden and prohibited, but what about grey areas where room for negotiation exists? These six strategies could boost chances of getting approved.
1. Understand your rights
Start by understanding, if applicable, local tenancy laws that apply in the relevant state, city, and council. They can differ enormously depending on location. For example, there may be regulations against or allowing for no-pet clauses in a rent agreement.
In some situations, no-pets clauses could be included in contracts by default. Alternatively, proprietors might only be able to refuse if certain criteria are relevant.
Special regulations preventing outright refusal could apply to assistance animals who provide emotional and psychological support.
Understanding the regs that apply will establish a good basis for negotiation with the owner.
2. Prove yourself as a tenant
Do some work to establish yourself as a solid tenant, where possible, to property agents and landlords. Demonstrate an excellent credit history and submit references from previous rentals, especially where someone can vouch for your pet.
Give evidence of keeping the place clean and minimizing noise and disturbances. Photos and testimonials from neighbors can complement applications.
Approach it like a job application, and try to anticipate and address any concerns or questions that may arise.
3. Obtain vet references
Vet references can provide certainty for lease applications. It’s ideal to offer a complete veterinarian’s record showing up-to-date vaccinations, spayed and neuter history, and health status.
Ask the vet to write a quick reference letter and include their contact details in the application. If companion animals need to be registered and microchipped in the area, incorporate evidence. And if obedience school records are available, make sure these are presented as well.
4. Offer information about your pet
In addition to documentation, submit a report containing detailed information about your dog or cat. Include details such as breed, temperament, age, size, training, and examples of good behavior and positive interactions.
Put forward photos and videos if appropriate, and videos of your current property showing it in pristine condition free of damage. In many cases, a reference from a previous landlord confirming your pet is well behaved and has never caused destruction could be a clincher with even an unenthusiastic owner. The more information provided, the greater the level of certainty the proprietor could have.
5. Organize a meet-and-greet with your pet
Sometimes paperwork and pictures aren’t enough to satisfy doubters. If so, set up a meet-and-greet to give the homeowner further peace of mind. Ensure he/she is restrained, is clean and groomed, and has an ID tag with names and phone numbers on it.
Keep in mind it’s not only your pet who’s being scrutinised – you’re also taking the opportunity to present yourself as a responsible owner who disciplines and corrects any poor behavior on the spot.
Finally, let them know if someone will be at home all day to supervise, as this is seen as a positive that could prevent destruction.
6. Pay a pet bond
Be prepared to pay a bond if the landlord asks for it. This is, of course, in addition to a deposit and periodic rental payments. The bond could take the form of a deposit, quite possibly one or two months’ rent, in addition to small monthly payments in the form of extra rent. If you’re asked to pay more, ensure it’s clearly spelled out in the rental contract so there are no ambiguities, unwanted surprises, or areas for dispute.
7. Be ready to negotiate
Be open to negotiation to come to a mutually agreeable compromise if needed. Always acknowledge the homeowner’s concerns, and ensure they’re openly addressed.
Offer to address potential concerns like damage and disturbance in the rental agreement so they’ll have the certainty of knowing you’ll take responsibility for any damage. Suggest terms like having regular carpet cleaning, clipping pet’s nails, and pest eradication upon exit. However, don’t give away too much at the outset. It’s important, in all cases, to find out where they stand first. Negotiate wisely by offering reassurances and giving away beneficial terms only if necessary.
Change your landlord’s mind
While not all landlords might be happy to budge, if you make a good impression and are prepared to negotiate, they could be more likely to give approval. After all, whether it’s a dog, cat, or other fur baby, they’re part of the family and well worth the effort.
Also keep in mind when it comes to renting with pets, be transparent, stay aware of the local laws, and abide by the rules in the lease contract. Breaching rules could be grounds for eviction. As long as you follow the terms and conditions, all family members - animal and human - can live reside happily, securely in a rented property.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2021 jacquicoombe