Apartment living with pets can pose a few unique challenges compared to home ownership. When renting an apartment, you’ll have to follow the rules on pets outlined in the lease. You’ll also have to prepare your pet for apartment life and be extra considerate of your location.
Before signing the lease, read up on these three important tips on apartment living with pets.
1. Read Up on the Apartment’s Pet Policy
There are a few things you specifically need to look out for in the pet policy. The pet policy should be listed on the apartment property’s website, as well as in the lease agreement itself.
Unfortunately, the pet policy can add some obstacles when renting with your pet. For example, most properties will charge you some additional costs to bring your pet to the property. We’ll outline these costs in detail below.
Pet Policy Costs
- Pet rent: Consider pet rent to act as an extension of your monthly rent. Pet rent ranges in price, but it’s common to see a $25-$50 increase in your rent price.
- Pet deposits: Similar to security deposits, pet deposits cover the potential cost of any damages from your pet. These have a wide range and may require a deposit between $100-$500. However, the deposit is refundable. No damage to your unit and you’ll get the full payment back when your lease is up.
- Pet fees: Although these are less common than pet rent and pet deposits, a one-time pet fee may be required. Pet fees are a non-refundable, nonrecurring cost you’ll pay when first moving in with your pet. These are typically pretty inexpensive.
In addition to added costs, there’ll be other rules in the pet policy about things like restricted breeds, the number of pets you can have, and the type of pets you can have. If you’re renting with a dog, be sure to check the restricted breeds first and foremost. If your dog’s breed falls on this list, it’s probably not worth considering this apartment. Restricted breeds can vary from place to place, and some apartments may not have restrictions at all. Although restricted breeds vary, it’s common to see Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers, Great Danes, and Pit Bulls on the list.
Pet Policy Restrictions
The types of pets that are prohibited from apartments can also vary. While cats and dogs are typically allowed in pet-friendly apartments, birds and reptiles may not be allowed. Also, you may be limited to the number of pets you can have. For example, it’s common for a 1-bedroom apartment to only allow up to two pets. These types of policies are less common than the fees and breed restrictions.
2. Get Familiar With Your Location
Location is an important consideration no matter where you live, but it’s even more crucial when renting an apartment. It’s likely that you won’t have the luxury of having a yard. If you’re a dog owner, you’ll have to figure out where you’ll walk them and where you’ll take them to go potty.
For example, if you’re living in a Seattle apartment and dealing with rainy weather, the last thing you want to do is walk 20 minutes to the nearest park. When choosing an apartment for you and your furry friend, look for properties with nearby parks and walking trails. In fact, some pet-friendly properties might even have their own on-site dog park. This adds a layer of comfort to apartment living with a dog and can save you plenty of time in the long run.
Also, check for the nearest vets and emergency pet clinics when choosing your next apartment. Having these services nearby is both convenient and will give you peace of mind in case any unforeseen issues arise.
3. Understand the Nuances of Apartment Living
Our third tip for apartment living with pets is about day-to-day apartment life and the challenges you may encounter. If your pet is not used to having so many close neighbors, this can become an issue. For example, narrow hallways outside of your apartment door and sharing elevators with other people and pets may be unfamiliar and uncomfortable for dogs. It may take some time to get used to this new environment. American Kennel Club has some great tips for training dogs in an apartment.
Also, be sure to be considerate of your neighbors. Having a new puppy barking and crying late at night could be an issue for your neighbors. On the other hand, a cat may not take kindly to hearing the footsteps of the neighbors above you. Either way, be courteous and communicate with your neighbors if any of these issues come up.
Even though apartment living with a pet can bring up some unique obstacles, it’ll all be worth it once you and your pet are settled in and comfortable!