how to find a pet friendly rental

Anyone with a furry friend knows that pets are more than just fun to have around–they’re part of the family. Pet owners can also tell you how difficult it can be to find a rental that they love where their pets are greeted with open arms by property management.

If you find yourself in need of a rental for yourself and man’s best friend there are a few tricks to know to find the perfect pet-friendly rental.

Limit Your Search:

Searching for a pet-friendly rental and not limiting your search results beforehand is begging for tears of frustration. Renters with pets can find themselves sifting through dozens of options where the landlords are, for various reasons, simply unwilling to budge on their no-pets rule.

Don’t waste your time vetting through all the options out there, instead search specifically for pet-friendly rentals. Aside from the standard craigslist search, there are a couple ways to do this:

  • Use Humane Society’s PAW Database: Pets Are Welcome (or PAW) is a way for renters to search for available pet-friendly properties. However, the selections are limited, and renters need to keep in mind that even pet-friendly rentals may have specific breed and size restrictions that prevent certain pet owners from residing there.
  •’s “All Filters” selection: The specific filters on Trulia can help pet owners narrow down their rental search even further by selecting only listings that allow cats, small dogs, large dogs and other pets. Furthermore, owners of more than one type of pet can ensure that they are looking at listings that allow both cats and dogs, for instance.

Come Prepared:

Pet-friendly rentals are notoriously limited, making them increasingly more competitive. Just like you will want to prepare a rental resume for yourself, you should consider preparing an additional resume for your four-legged roommate as well.

Include pertinent information including your pet’s breed, weight, vaccination records, and a brief description of your pet’s personality. If your pet has undergone any obedience classes, this will also be important to note.  A pet resume will help your landlord get to know your pet, and it conveys that you are a responsible and prepared pet owner. If possible, alongside your pet’s resume, include a reference letter from your current landlord, current neighbors and even your veterinarian.

Many landlords are apprehensive of certain breeds of an animal because of their overall reputation to be destructive or aggressive. A good pet resume can show an uncertain landlord that your pet is well behaved, does not disrupt the neighbors, and is fully taken care of medically.  

Keep breeds in mind if you are a renter and are considering getting a pet. Certain aggressive breeds will never be allowed in rentals because a landlord’s insurance forbids it. Dogs like pit bulls, terriers, chow chows, rottweilers, and huskies are on most breed restriction lists.

Give Yourself Time:

Finding the perfect rental is always a time-consuming task, and finding one that allows pets can be even more difficult. Keep that in mind, and give yourself enough time to truly find one that fits your–and your pet’s needs. Be sure to allow additional time for the search, and try not to be discouraged if it seems more difficult than your non-pet owning days. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to move by a set date, look into other options to extend your search time, such as using a short-term rental service or bunking with a generous friend.

Sweeten the Deal:

While it is not a guaranteed solution, if you find yourself in love with a particular rental, the right pet owner and the promise of additional security deposits or pet rent, could be enough to sway a landlord that was on the fence about allowing certain breeds of pets, or pets at all. This is true for single-family rentals, as current residents in an apartment will already be following the restrictions, making it more difficult to alter a policy.

In these instances, having a well-prepared resume and a reference from your current landlord is imperative, but you should also consider offering additional compensation so the landlord feels his investment will be fully protected.

Offer to pay a pet rent, or a higher security deposit, and (if you don’t already have it) offer to get renters insurance to protect from any pet liability. While this may be more cost up-front, the good news is, renters insurance is relatively inexpensive, and you can get your security deposit back as long as the unit remains in good condition throughout your tenancy.

Pet rent and pet-specific deposits, however, do not always boast the same claims; be sure you understand what would be refunded at the end of your tenancy, and what just becomes part of your bill.

Finding a rental can be a struggle, but with these tips, a little preparation and a well-behaved four-legged friend, it truly is possible to find your dream rental.

Do you have experience scoring your perfect pet-friendly rental? Let us know in the comments!