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Your guide to renting with pets



Whether you own a dog, cat, rabbit, cockatoo or boa constrictor, you probably think of your pet in your family. But as a tenant it can sometimes be challenging to find a place that allows animals and were both you and your pet feel safe and calm.

If you are looking for a new place to rent with your pet, keep them

Allow time to find a pet-friendly rental

Since many landlords do not allow pets, it is a good idea to start looking as early as possible for a pet-friendly rental. Petfinder.com recommends that you start searching at least six weeks before your current lease ends.

The United States Human Society has compiled a list of websites where you can search for pet-friendly apartments in your area. You can also ask the local chapter of the Humane Society or animal care and control agency if it has a list of local pet-friendly apartments, says Petfinder.com. You can also work with a local real estate agent who is familiar with pet-friendly apartments in the area.

Visit Properties and Review House Rules

When you find a place you are interested in, make sure you really understand what the property's pet policy is. Some sites allow only small animals and cats, while others allow dogs below a certain weight limit or prohibit certain breeds. The Apartment Guide notes that some landlords will also require a special pet fee.

Another thing to remember is whether the rent is really pet friendly. A pet-friendly complex can offer amenities such as a small dog park, pet waste stations and activities, says Apartment Guide.

It is also a good idea to visit the current building and the unit you are interested in. Is there enough room for your pet? Do the walls have sufficient sound insulation to cut down on hearing other animals (and from neighbors who hear yours)? You may also want to talk to tenants and ask them how their experiences are as homeowners in the building.

Promote Yourself and Your Pet

Humane Society recommends that you give your potential landlord a "pet assignment" to help show that you are a responsible pet owner. It is smart to have letters of recommendations from previous landlords and neighbors . In addition, ask your veterinarian for documents showing that your pet is spayed or neutralized, as well as updated on vaccinations and flea control.

When you are ready to sign a lease, make sure the lease clearly states you have a permit to hold a pet. Do not sign a lease if something "no pet" language is included ̵

1; make sure it is removed or crossed before signing, says Humane Society. Also make sure deposits and monthly fees are clearly stated in the lease agreement and that you have a signed copy.

Be a conscientious homeowner

When you and your pet have a new home, it is your responsibility to be a good tenant and neighbor, says PAWS. Keep your pet from damaging the property and notify the landlord immediately if damage occurs. Don't let your pet walk the property unattended. If you have a dog, pick it up. Ask your neighbors if your pet makes noise (barking, whining) while you are away. If your landlord or neighbor is disturbed by your pet's behavior, be open to working together to find a solution. You may also want to talk to your veterinarian if your pet's behavior is about.

Renting with pets can be challenging, but with good planning and responsible pet ownership you can make a real home for you and your furry, feathery or scaly

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