Finding Pet-Friendly Housing
Here are steps you can take to find pet-friendly housing.
1. Plan early. It may take many calls before you find a landlord who'll accept your pets, but just be polite and persistent and hopefully soon you'll find just the right place.
2. Contact individual landlords. It may be easier to persuade an individual homeowner who’s renting their home to accept your pets than it will with large complexes that tend to have may more rigid rules. You can also visit the MSPCA for a list of pet-friendly apartment complexes or search for pet-friendly rentals on sites like Zillow, Zumper, and ApartmentList.com. Pit Bull Rescue Central also maintains a list of pitbull-friendly housing sites.
ApartmentGuide.com offers a specialized pet-friendly rental property search tool exclusively for the Greater Boston Area. The tool allows users to search for nearby pet-friendly properties. In addition, users can filter their search based on desired price range, number of bedrooms/bathrooms, type of renter lifestyle, interior features such as laundry and appliances, and more.
3. Show good citizenry. Having your dogs earn Canine Good Citizen certification can help sway potential landlords and potentially lower their insurance rates. This well-known program recognizes dogs who have good manners at home and in the community. Also, share any certifications, such as obedience classes or therapy dog classes, that your dog has earned.
4. Make an introduction. Share pictures of your cute, well-groomed pets, or better yet, ask your potential landlord if you can introduce him/her to your furry family members in your current home. This way, they can see how well behaved they are and how well kept your home is.
5. Find a partner. Find a rental agent or realtor who shares your love of animals and will lend a hand. Note: Check up front to see what fee they charge for their services. In some cases, a rental agency fee is covered by the tenant and in some cases it's covered by the landlord.
6. Get references. Show proof that you and your pets are good citizens. This includes letters of references from previous landlords, as well as a letter from your veterinarian showing that your pets are up-to-date on vaccinations, flea/tick treatment, and are spayed/neutered.
7. Show extra care. Landlords may be concerned about animals being out of control, so it may help to explain, for example, if your cats are indoor only and your dog has a regular dog walker or doggie day care and isn't left outside without you.
8. Get renter's insurance. This added protection may help sway a potential landlord to allow pets. Also, some insurance companies will provide homeowner's insurance for you or your landlord, and don't discriminate by dog breed.
9. Don’t give up. Finding the right place will take some time, but your pets are worth it!
10. Get it in writing. Once you receive permission from a landlord or property manager to accept pets, be sure to get it in writing as part of your rental agreement.