While it’s easy to understand why landlords don’t like tenants with pets (they simply don’t want hassle and mess), the increasing amount of no-pets property has become a real problem for many pet owners. The impossibility to bring a pet in the property makes people leave their domestic animals in shelters or in the worst-case scenario put them to sleep. In this post, we will share some ways how you can convince your potential landlord to change his/her point of view and accept your pet to live with you.
#1. Do a Thorough Research
First, don’t search for a home in a rush. Take more time to find a property that meets the needs of you and your pet. You’re not alone: 78% of pet owners face the renting problem. Indeed, there is no such property that allows living all kinds of pets and breeds. All situations and landlords are different. Start your search from pet-friendly listings and ads. Ask your friends and closest people about potential renting options. If they know you and your pet well, they may give a landlord a positive recommendation. By thinking about a new place of living in advance you will make the process less stressful and have more chances to find exactly what you need.
#2. Give A Landlord All The Pet Documentation
Make an online or real folder of the main pet documentation for your potential landlord. Regardless of the breed and type of pet, here is the common checklist:
- The record of all needed vaccination
- License number and microchip info
- A certificate about spaying/neutering
- The contact of your vet
- Photos of your pet (in case you’re a not going to meet with a landlord in person)
- In case you have a service animal, a certificate that your pet has obtained special training if any
- If you’re accompanied by an ESA animal, provide an ESA letter for housing signed by a doctor and dated within 1 year of the date on which you are going to use the letter
- If you had good relations with the previous landlords, ask them to write a recommendation pointing out that your pet is well-behaved and hasn’t caused any damage. To be more convincing you can even take photos of your previous property to show that you’re leaving it in a good condition
#3. Organize a Face-to-Face Meeting With a Potential Landlord
And of course, bring your pet with you. Invite your landlord for a coffee, in the park, where you can demonstrate that your pet is obedient, well-behaved, and healthy. Such a meeting is your best chance to show that you’re a responsible pet owner. If a property owner doesn’t accept your invitation because of any reason (he or she could have an allergy, for example), send photos and videos of your pet demonstrating his/her best tricks or favorite games. If the landlord is still skeptical, you have two more options: offering reinsurance in case your pet causes some damage to the property or a pet deposit.
#4. Living in a No-Pet Property With A Service or ESA
Living in a no-pet property with a service or ESA is easier. There are almost no legal rights to deny your rental application in such a case. A property owner is not even allowed to ask for any proof that your dog is a service dog. You don’t have to tell a landlord about your disability or show him/her your medical history. However, to avoid any problems, you can have a service dog registration. With ESA, the situation is a little different, because not many landlords are aware of this category of animals. ESA accompanies people that have some kind of emotional or mental disability. According to federal law, a pet owner with an ESA letter is allowed to live with ESA even in a property that prohibits pets. Moreover, for such cases, a landlord cannot require to pay any additional fees or deposits. Check out the fullest information on how to apply for an ESA letter for your pet online. With all these advantages, when renting a place with your service animal or ESA, only you are responsible for his/her actions. You should respect the rights of other tenants and other people’s personal spaces.
About the Author:
Helen Scott is an LMHC specialist with experience in working with a vast array of cases, including eating disorders, traumas, couples, and family therapy. Now, I'm investigating different emotionally disabled states, animal-assisted therapy, and the therapeutic effect of emotional support animals. I'm also a passionate cat and dog owner.