Although you can’t imagine living anywhere without your dog, any landlord who’s ever rented to dog owners has at least a few horror stories about irresponsible owners and poorly behaved pooches. Gaining your landlord’s approval to move in Fido means addressing his concerns from the get-go with a positive and friendly attitude.
Introduce your dog to your landlord when you first view the apartment. First impressions count, so be sure to give your fluffy friend a good bath and brushing before he meets your landlord. Presenting your dog as clean and well cared for shows your landlord that you’re a responsible owner whose dog won’t bring fleas or other insects into his property.
Provide references from previous landlords or housemates who can testify to your dog’s well-behaved nature. Many landlords worry about barking and property damage. Giving him a list of individuals who can verify your dog won’t howl 18 hours a day or chew the kitchen cabinets is an effective way to show him otherwise.
Offer to a pet fee of $25 each month in addition to the standard rent. Explain that although your dog isn’t destructive, you understand having a dog increases the cleaning costs. Even the most well-behaved dog means your landlord will need to have the carpets professionally cleaned and the baseboards repainted after you move. Offering to offset this cost from the beginning provides your landlord with a sense of relief.
Give your landlord a resume or fact sheet about your dog. Highlight any information that supports your responsibility and your dog’s good temperament or skills. For example, note if dog is house-trained, hypoallergenic or up-to-date on all his vaccines. Explain any special certifications such as being a Good Canine Citizen or certified therapy dog. Also, include activities you enjoy doing with your dog, such as hiking or going to the dog park. The more invested you appear in your dog, the more comfortable your landlord will feel about allowing a pet in his apartment.
- Keep your pet request friendly. If the landlord still prohibits your pet after you've presented him with all necessary information, simply thank him for his time and move on to the next apartment.
- Ask your local shelter or veterinarian's office for a list of pet-friendly rentals and landlords.
- Don't try to sneak your dog in your apartment against your landlord's wishes. Being caught could mean being evicted or having to surrender your dog to a shelter.
- Be honest about your dog's issues. If your pooch barks for 10 minutes after you leave, but the calms down quietly, it's better your landlord know ahead of time. Otherwise, he'll start wondering what other information you lied about regarding your dog's behavior.
Christina Bednarz Schnell began writing full-time in 2010. Her areas of expertise include child development and behavior, medical conditions and pet health. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in international relations.