Apartment hunting with a dog?

This is a forum to discuss legislation and legal matters pertaining to the rights and welfare of dogs. Please remember to counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice and responses.


Member Since
Barked: Wed Dec 7, '11 7:26pm PST 
I'm looking for an apartment. Some ads say clearly "no dogs" and some say explicitly that dogs are okay. Does anybody have any tips for bringing up the subject if the ad doesn't mention dogs? If there is a weight limit, like 25 or 40 lbs, and one's dog is over that limit, but not tons over, have you found that landlords are generally flexible?

Barked: Wed Dec 7, '11 7:43pm PST 
Some breeds will be a lot more readily accepted than others for insurance purposes or so say the landlords. GSD, Rotts, Pits, Dobes, Huskys etc will be hard to find a place with in some communities.

Where I used to live dog-friendly housing could be difficult to come across and extremely expensive. The "pet deposits" can and do add up quickly and are usually entirely non-refundable. Where I will be going to grad school I've had to basically rule out an apartment because my inherited dogs bring me over the number limits of most places. The house being rented here should cover a rental there but I'm not looking forward to the search.

The better trained your dog (and you need to be able to show it. CGC's are bizarrely well thought of and other titles are great.) the more amenable they tend to be. Some landlords will not be flexible at all. Some don't really want animals and it shows. Some don't care as long as you're responsible. IT really varies but the trick is to look early and extensively. Look everywhere. Get friends to tell you about places they know of.

Member Since
Barked: Thu Dec 8, '11 4:47am PST 
Yeah. One of my requirements for my dog when I got him was that whatever dog I got, it couldn't be, or look like, a "scary" breed, because I knew when I got him I'd be moving with him and I didn't want to be restricted because of (stupid) breed based rules.. There is no way anybody could mistake him for a pit, GSD, etc. I'm looking for a CGC class, and his one really bad habit is that he jumps. It's much worse on leash, and when he jumps his whole body is wiggling and his tail is going in circles, but I'm actively working on this with him, and he is improving.

I guess my question was more, if an apartment doesn't say its pet policy up front, do you find it's better to ask the question first off? Or wait until the landlord sees you're responsible, and ask the question when you're viewing the apartment, or in person, rather than over the phone. (I would never not ask and just try and sneak him in.)

Bella and- Daisy CGC

I'm a Meanie
Barked: Thu Dec 8, '11 5:47am PST 
My experience: Any multi-family dwelling is more than likely going to have a pet policy. They don't allow one person to have a dog and not another. Ask up front.

If you rent a house or a townhouse form an individual person you might be able to convince them that a dog won't be so bad. I use a property management place for the house I rent and the landlord doesn't really want 2 dogs here. But, I have older dogs (no puppy chewing). One of my dogs has graduated from basic obedience, and the other when I moved in had her first 2 legs of rally obedience novice. So I was able to show I had trained them.

Pet deposits are really expensive in some areas. Many times the whole cost will be non refundable. This is addition to any other deposits or first/last months rent you have to pay. They might do a flat pet deposit, or charge per animal.

Professional- sock burglar
Barked: Fri Dec 9, '11 8:52am PST 
Renting from an individual is much better than renting from a property company. We have done both, and prefer to rent from an individual if possible.

A property company has a bunch of people they are renting to, and if they bend the rules for one person, then they have to bend them for everyone. It's just a situation that can snowball. When we rented from a property company, they had a weight restriction and a breed restriction. Steel was fine on breed, but not one weight. They went by weight at full growth, so even though Steel was 4 months, we couldn't keep her. A friend of mine kept her until we moved. Not only that, but the pet deposit was non-refundable, and extremely high. Plus you have to factor in pet rent. At our old apartment, it was $20 per month PER PET! Which really adds up when you live somewhere for 2 years.

Our experience of renting from an individual has been much better. Our landlord has been very cool about us getting another pet (if we wanted one), and we don't pay a pent rent here. We paid our deposit (I think, I don't really remember if we did have one or not) and that was it. I mean, it's really easy for us, because our landlords are not only friends of ours, but they are from the same town that we are.

All my friends have had better experience with individual landlords as well, because they are more likely to change something for you if you can show them that your dog (or cat) can be trusted to not tear anything up. A CGC would be a great advantage for you on this front.

Cooper- Peace_Love_&Bell- y Rubs!!!
Barked: Fri Dec 9, '11 10:08am PST 
Ask upfront. Don't beat around the bush either. " So I was wondering what your policy is on dogs?" then state about your dog if it's pet friendly. Nothing worse than falling in love with a place and then getting the no dogs thing. Deposits are fairly high in some places. I paid $200 for Coop and it's refundable here.

Akita Pals- Always.
Barked: Sat Dec 10, '11 7:25pm PST 
I would be upfront. You have gotten alot of great advice from posters already. WE rented our current home before we decided to buy it. We had to sign a pet agreement which stated things such as our responsibility to follow all pet related laws such as licensing being kept current,as well as shots required by law,in our state that is Rabies vaccine only,leash laws,noise ordinances about barking,willingness to cover all damages to the property caused by the dog that exceeded the ammount of pet deposit and we has to carry a renters policy covering damages for a dog bite incident and a statement absolving the landlord of any responsibility for damages caused by our owning a dog. Most of it was material from local AC and common decency and respect for others property and being a good neighbor.Perhaps you could draft your own type of pet agreement and show it to potential landlords who might allow pets but really prefer not to have problems from allowing you to have one. p-mail me if you'd like more specific terms on the one we signed.

Pocket Wolf
Barked: Mon Dec 19, '11 12:22am PST 
i agree with being up front. If they don't put it in the description, call before you go. The easiest question to ask is "Can you tell me about your pet policy?" and they will tell you up front. If it doesn't sound right for you, don't go look at the place.

Pet deposits are going to be a given, but you can usually narrow your search to those that don't have pet rent. Pet rent is pretty much a scam that should be illegal, as since over 40% of households own pets, it should be recognized that pet ownership is a socially accepted lifestyle choice. more families own pets than have children, so you would think that charging monthly rent for pets would be just about as heinous as charging a monthly rent for children.

Don't settle for some place that does not accept pets though. It's not fair to your pets to abandon them

Edited by author Mon Dec 19, '11 12:24am PST