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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Pet Friendly Housing

Searching for housing that allows pets can get difficult at times.  Some locations don't allow pets and those that do often have size and breed restrictions.

Get Help
Sometimes using an agent to help with your search can save countless hours of time searching for available rentals.
Search the internet for "rental property locators" or "apartment locators." Tell your agent exactly what you are looking for so he or she can help to narrow down available rentals.

"Never take no for an answer from someone who doesn't have the authority to say yes" (Quote source - unknown)
Larger rental agencies probably have set-in-stone policies on pets because of insurance restrictions and other reasons. But if you can find a rental property that is offered by a single individual (vs a company), you might be able to convince that person to let you have your pets - even if the property is listed as "no pets allowed."

If the pets are clean, mild mannered, and very comfortable with strangers,  ask the owner if he or she would be willing to meet your pets. (get help from a professional if there is any chance of biting)  If your pets have any certificates or titles (such as the Canine Good Citizen), those might be helpful as well.
Also offer letters of recommendation from previous property managers.
Temperament test certificates from at least two different places would also be safer and possibly helpful.
Make sure your pet is up to date on all required shots.

Offering a hefty pet deposit or offering 4 to 6 months of advance rental payments might also help to convince a property owner to let you move in with your pets.

You can find various rental properties through sites such, but if you plan to try to convince an individual to let your keep your pets, you might have better luck searching local classified ads. Take a friend along with you (for safety) when meeting strangers.  And insist on a rental contract. It might be a good idea to get a lawyer's asisstance with contracts.

Other ideas:
Look around the internet for "pet friendly housing [your city]".
Find local pet related discussion forums to get leads on pet friendly housing. Especially breed related forums.

- Attend dog-friendly events (i.e. fun runs, adoption drives, etc..) and ask people for ideas
- Ask around in pet supply stores
- Attend dog walking meetup groups
- Volunteer at shelters
- If your pet has the right temperament, volunteer your dog (pet therapy, etc..)

Don't give up
The search might take a while.  Look into boarding your pet while searching
Research RV park requirements/restrictions and look into renting an RV while you continue your search
If the weather is mild (not too hot, not too cold), camp out, or live in your vehicle.
See if family or friends will take you in temporarily.
 -- take you in with your pet
 -- or take you in while your pet board elsewhere

Contact local charitable organizations for information and/or assistance
Call local shelters to ask for ideas

Some things to consider before buying or renting:

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