Best Practices for Renting with a Pet

For renters who are getting ready for a move, there are a number of things to consider and take care of. Do you need a moving truck? Are all your services transferred over to the new place? Will you be redecorating? What needs to be covered by renters insurance? And while all these questions are important to note and take care of, one of the most important things that needs to be addressed is how owners should go about renting with a pet.

How to Rent with a Pet

Some apartments restrict certain breeds and some charge larger amounts of money upfront. It’s important to see what you need to do in order to make the move to a new place as seamless as possible without running into problems because of your pooch.

Here are some steps to take when you’re renting with a pet.

Read the Pet Clause

For some renters, their everyday decisions are at least partially determined by their pet. Will they have a sitter? Will they get home in time to feed their dog if they go to happy hour? Renters will not up and move somewhere if their dog or cat can’t come with them.

It’s recommended that renters review the pet clause in a potential new rental unit as soon as they are interested in applying. This can help to reveal any hidden surprises in the fine print. Breaking a pet clause can be a serious issue and can even lead to evictions or major fines, which can ultimately affect your rental history and record.

Pet Restrictions

Landlords have a right to limit certain breeds, animals, pet weight, and the number of pets someone can have in their rental unit. If your pet is restricted by a pet clause, it can help to open up a dialogue with the landlord or leasing office before passing on the house or apartment. Being given an exception to a pet clause is better than trying to sneak an animal in only to be discovered and potentially evicted.

Make sure to get an exception in writing so there is no uncertainty when it comes to the legality of your pet.

Consider Renters Insurance

Finding a pet-friendly apartment or house isn’t necessarily a hard task, but it can come with challenges. Liability is a major concern for landlords and leasing offices, and one of the main reasons why they are against pets in the first place.

Landlords may feel more comfortable allowing pets if they are backed by renter’s insurance, which can be helpful if renters have a dog that is deemed an aggressive breed or multiple pets. Be sure to find out if your renters’ insurance includes a dog bite exclusion or other limitations.

Make Sure Your Pet is Welcome

Some renters in a duplex or an apartment complex may have their own pets, but don’t assume that means you can bring in your pet iguana or rottweiler. Landlords reserve the right to refuse any pet as long as it’s not a service animal. Double-check with your potential landlord or leasing office to make sure your specific pet’s breed, species, weight, and other characteristics are welcome. It’s better to be extra safe than sorry.

Be Ready to Pay

While being given the okay to bring you pet(s) in is exciting, you should also be ready to pay major fees and deposits.

First, there’s the pet rent, which is a monthly charge for your pet and can be anywhere from $15 to $100 depending on species and breed. Next is the deposit for your pet(s). This is a refundable charge that you’ll end up getting back after you move out or your lease ends, unless there is any damage caused by the pet, such as gnaw marks on wood.

There are also pet fees that are different than deposits. You won’t end up getting these fees back as it should be looked at as a one-time fee just to be allowed to bring in a pet.

Renting with a pet isn’t difficult or impossible, it just requires a bit more effort and planning to find the perfect dwelling for you and your four-legged friend.

About Byrnes Agency

At Byrnes Agency, we offer insurance solutions that can be tailored to meet your specific needs. Whether you’re looking for personal policies or commercial coverage, we have the right coverage for you. To learn more about our products, contact us today at one of our two locations.

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