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Do Pets and Apartments Mix?

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by BeautifulWolf
If you’re a pet owner who is considering a move to an apartment there are certain things you must be keep in mind. First, whether or not your pet will be accepted by most landlords depends primarily on the type, size and personality of your pet.

Dogs:

If you own a large dog, apartment living is probably not for you. Not only will accepting landlords be hard to find, but your dog will not be happy in the confined space of an apartment. A large dog needs room to exercise and play, neither of which is usually available in an apartment setting.

If you plan to move to an apartment, make sure your dog is one that will adapt easily to this change in environment. Usually smaller, lap dogs are the best choice. However, even smaller dogs can cause problems.

If your dog barks or whines a lot you may well find yourself at odds with the landlord, as well as with other tenants. Many times your dog only causes a disturbance because it’s lonely or bored. If you’re gone during the day, you can sometimes alleviate these problems by hiring a pet walker to come in and give your dog attention and exercise.

You must also keep in mind that most apartment complexes have leash laws so you will have to accompany your dog each time it goes outside. Since most complexes don’t have areas where it’s safe for your dog to run free, this is as much a matter of your dog’s safety as it the protection of other tenants.

Cats:

Cats are the pets of choice for apartments. Most are not as socially oriented as dogs and are quite happy left on their own. As long as your cat has a nice spot to curl up and take a nap, space isn’t an issue. More than likely your pet is a house cat so frequent trips outside aren’t required.

But you must realize that some landlords do not accept cats any more willingly than they do dogs. Some have a strict “no pets” rule. If that’s the case, don’t consider renting there. If your pet is discovered you may be evicted and/or fined.

Other Pets:

“Pocket pets” such as fish, birds, and reptiles usually don’t pose a problem when it comes to renting. However, you should still check with your prospective landlord to make sure.

General Tips:  

Landlords who do accept pets often require a pet deposit. This is intended to cover any damage your dog or cat does to the premises, as well as additional cleaning that may be necessary when you leave the apartment.

If you’re searching for apartments that accept pets, there are many places to go for help. You’ll find lots of websites and message boards dedicated to this subject. You can also enlist the help of a local realtor or relocation specialist who usually have lists of “pet-friendly” apartments. Just make sure you’re clear on the policy regarding pets before you sign any rental agreement.

If you take into account your pet’s needs, as well as those of your landlord, you’ll be much more likely to find an apartment that meets your needs.

Happy apartment hunting!

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