6 Reasons Hiding a Pet From Your Landlord Is a Terrible Idea

Hiding your pet from the landlord is a risky decision that could get you evicted. This article includes tips for finding a great pet-friendly apartment.

A bark, meow or pet in the window could get you in trouble. By: Sean McGrath
A bark, meow or pet in the window could get you in trouble. By: Sean McGrath

Dogs, cats and other pets have long been notorious for making the whole apartment search process a difficult. Many landlords will not accept your furry friend into the community — which, in turn, makes it difficult to find an apartment to rent.

It can be tempting to go against the landlord and sneak Fluffy in despite the strict no-pet policy. After all, your property manager will never drop by or find out, right? Wrong.

Here are the top 6 reasons it’s a bad idea to hide your pet.

1. You Could Face Eviction

That’s right. You could get the boot if the landlord finds out you breached the rental contract and sneaked your pet in without permission.

Do yourself a big favor and research pet-friendly housing to avoid this altogether. Far too many animals have been surrendered because of landlords demanding, “It’s either the apartment or the pet.”

2. Bad Karma With Neighbors

There’s bound to be that one neighbor who is buddy-buddy with your landlord and is just waiting to report juicy neighborhood news. It’s best to be an honest neighbor and simply stick to the rules. Not to mention, if you stumble upon a neighbor who dislikes animals, you may find yourself being reported to the landlord.

3. Extra Charges

If your furball decides that dining on the carpet or going to the bathroom on the wall is a fun activity, this can incur extra charges for you at the end of your lease.

With pet-friendly apartments, these types of incidents are generally covered by your pet deposit, but in the case of no-pet housing it’s an out-of-pocket expense put on your tab.

4. Your Pet May Give You Away

Does your puppy scream and shout and bark and howl? Nothing will give you away quicker than your neighbors being graced with dog music heard from down the hall. Cats can be rather vocal too — ever hear of late-night yowling?

If you know your pet can’t use his inside voice, it is a definite no-no to sneak him in. You’ll be found out faster than you can say “bad dog.”

Pet hair and other signs can give you away, such as this hilarious scenario with a stubborn cat named Sylvester:

5. Constant Need to Hide

Do you want to constantly feel the need to hide and shush your pet? Home should be a place where you can relax and where your pet is free to act like…an animal. It can be exhausting to repeatedly worry.

6. It’s Not Fair to Fido

Pets (especially dogs) do not want to be locked up with no access to the outside world. They need walks, bathroom breaks and exposure to new surroundings. Keeping them locked up inside your apartment at all times is simply not fair to them.

If you currently have a pet, it is extremely important to plan ahead and track down an apartment complex that allows pets. Here are a few quick tips on finding pet-friendly apartments, from a longer list by the Humane Society of the United States:

  • Take your time; allow at least 6 weeks to start looking before you move out of your current apartment.
  • Try contacting the humane society in your new area for leads.
  • Gather proof that you’re a responsible pet caregiver, such as training certification for your dog or a letter of reference from your current landlord.
  • Offer to let the landlord meet your pet, and make sure your pet is groomed and well behaved.
  • Get any agreement in writing.

This process can be a tricky one, but with some hours of hard work, you will land on a place for you. Don’t leave your pet high and dry.

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This featured contribution was written by Bailey Martin, who blogs for Apartment Living Guide, a Minnesota-based print publication and online search source helping people find local apartments for rent.

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