What you need to know before you start looking for a rental property if you are a pet owner.
You are on a mission to find a new home to rent. After performing a quick search, you managed to find several properties that tick most of the right boxes. However, your joy is cut short when you notice that the listings clearly state, "No pets allowed." As you can see, being a pet owner significantly limits your choices of rental homes. In addition, regular rental properties that do allow pets often have breed and size restrictions.
It is hard to accept this reality because you are in fact a RESPONSIBLE pet owner. However, landlords do not know that... just yet. That is why there are several things you need to take note if you want to successfully find a pet-friendly place to rent. Let's find out more!
Tip #1: Be upfront about having a pet
When you speak with the agent to enquire about a property, you should remember to inform him or her that you have a pet. As many landlords fear damage to their property, and if they are willing to accept a tenant with a pet, they generally ask for a higher deposit (in general 8 weeks instead of the standard 6 weeks). This should not catch you by surprise. So, do factor this into your budget.
When you are about to secure the property, make sure the landlord agrees to clearly lay out the pet terms in the tenancy agreement. This prevents arguments and nasty surprises from both tenant and landlord at a later time. It is a no-brainer to write "pets allowed" in the lease. Your landlord needs to officially acknowledge he or she is allowing your pet in the lease. If your lease is transferred to a new landlord, he or she may not accept pre-existing verbal agreements.
Tip #2: Get records from your Vet
Is your pet neutered or spayed? Is your pet free from fleas and ticks? Is your pet up-to-date on all vaccinations? The landlord will be more comfortable if you can demonstrate that you are a responsible pet owner and that your pet is safe to live in the community.
If you have these vet records with you when you are viewing rental homes, you will gain an advantage.
Tip #3: Prepare a 'pet resume'
It may start to sound like a job search, but believe us, it's part of the process!
Create a resume for your pet when searching for a pet-friendly rental property. The resume should feature your pet's house training skills, activity level, breed, weight, age, and any other traits that explain / prove your pet is the perfect tenant. Next, collect reference letters from anyone who is familiar with your pet's behaviour and temperament at home. These individuals can be past landlords, groomers, veterinarians, dog walkers, and obedience instructors.
Don’t forget to include a photo of your pet (for puppy eye effect). In general, when landlords hear about pets, they think about the damage, noise, complaints from the neighbours, etc, when, in reality, you may have the cutest and most well behaved cat, or an old dog who sleeps all day. Photos can help to put things into perspective and we have seen cases when showing photos made landlords, who had previously said 'no' to pets, change their minds.
Ultimately, pet resumes can help you win the trust of a prospective landlord.
Tip #4: Present official pet training certificates
If you are a dog owner and your pet has completed 'doggie school' pet training, you should supply any evidence (in the form of certificates) of this as part of your rental application. Let potential landlords know that your pet is disciplined, toilet trained, and will not make a mess or annoy neighbours, even if this information is not explicitly asked for.
Tip #5: Hire a Sherpa!
The first thing you may want to do is call as many local agents in the area as possible to "brief them”. However, this is clearly not time efficient. You only need to hire one local area expert, who will be your tenant concierge, to help you find a property that perfectly matches your lifestyle and pet requirements.
At the Urban Collective, we can help you shortlist properties that accurately match your criteria, organise viewings, and even visit them on your behalf! You can organise your move with the complete peace of mind that we will guide you through the entire rental negotiation process, until you secure the lease and hold the keys to your new home
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