5 Tips for Finding a Dog-Friendly Apartment

Housing is scarce and rents are high, so how do you find a dog-friendly apartment, even in a “no pets” building? Here are some clever ideas.

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Showing your dog’s training certifications may persuade a landlord to accept your apartment application. By: elvissa

With rental space at a minimum and rates soaring, finding a decent, affordable apartment can be difficult, even more so if you have a dog.

Although many landlords will allow cats, rabbits, birds and reptiles, dogs are often excluded, even from “pet friendly” buildings. And you’re really in trouble if you have a pit bull or other “dangerous” breed, such as a German Shepherd, Doberman Pinscher or Rottweiler.

So how do you find a dog-friendly apartment, even in a “no pets” building? Follow these 5 tips, and you might be able to impress your landlord enough that he welcomes you and your pet with open arms.

1. Get a Certificate of Training

Take your dog to basic obedience classes, and then work on earning him a Canine Good Citizenship certificate.

Not every landlord will understand what these “degrees” represent, so include a brief note clipped to your dog’s diploma.

Don’t Miss: Puppy Classes: Start Right Away

2. Create a Dog Résumé

You wouldn’t include your personal résumé when applying for housing, but giving your potential landlord a résumé for your dog is a personal, lighthearted way to show that your dog will contribute positively to the community.

  • Highlight any training certifications.
  • Include information about his history, personality, behavior and habits.
  • Keep the tone light.
  • Add a picture of your dog smiling.
  • If possible, attach letters of references from previous landlords.

3. Give the Landlord Educational Material

If the landlord is reluctant to consider your “dangerous” breed dog as a tenant, pass along some educational information about the breed.

Watch these playful pit bulls upend the misconception of a dangerous breed:

Download an article or two from a reputable, well-known website explaining the adage, “Judge the breed, not the deed,” and you may persuade your landlord that your vicious pit bull is actually a wiggly kissing machine.

4. Arrange a Meet-and-Greet

Meeting your dog in person is the most effective way to sway a potential landlord.

Prepare carefully:

  • Make sure your dog smells and looks good.
  • Put a fetching collar on him.
  • Before the meeting, take him for a long walk or romp to tire him out.
  • Bring training treats with you to keep him attentive.
  • Finally, make sure he doesn’t jump up on anyone or make any messes. In other words, bring poop bags.

5. Offer a Pet Deposit

Even if your lease doesn’t include a pet deposit, offering one shows how serious you are about renting a particular apartment.

An offer of $500 — refundable when you move — might be the incentive your landlord needs to award the apartment to you.

A Note About Service Dogs

If you have a service animal — which the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) defines as a dog or small horse (yes, I’m serious) trained to perform a specific service to a person with a disability — no landlord can refuse to rent to you for pet-related issues, even if the building has a “no pets” policy.

The landlord reserves the right to rent to whomever he wants, of course, but he cannot deny you tenancy simply because you have a service animal.

Although you are not required to show proof, a doctor’s note goes a long way toward convincing people that your service animal is legitimate.

Tamar Love Grande

View posts by Tamar Love Grande
Tamar Love Grande, former associate editor, is a Crazy Dog Person who has fostered and found homes for more than 200 dachshunds in the past few years. Tamar lives in Los Angeles with her husband, her cat and far too many wiener dogs.

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