9 Tips for Choosing a Pet-Friendly Apartment Community
It’s important that you choose the right apartment to rent if you own a pet. Not all apartment communities are pet friendly. Even if an apartment allows pets, it may have restrictions with which tenants must comply. Here are nine tips for choosing the perfect pet-friendly apartment community.
1. Consider Nearby Parks
Consider the quantity and location of nearby parks. Most dog owners, for example, will probably want to take their furry companion to a park. But if the nearest park is on the other side of town, the owner won’t be able to easily take his or her dog.
2. Check the Pet Policy
One of the first steps in choosing a pet-friendly apartment is to check the pet policy. Different apartments have different policies regarding pets. Some only allow dogs whereas others only allow cats. Furthermore, some apartments only allow small dog breeds like the Chihuahua and Yorkshire Terrier.
3. Inquire About Pet Deposit
You’ll probably have to pay a pet deposit in addition to the apartment’s security deposit. Most pet-friendly apartments charge tenants a one-time nonrefundable fee for owning a pet. While the cost of this fee varies depending on the apartment’s policy, a survey cited by US News found that 71 percent of pet owners expected to pay no more than $200 on an pet deposit.
4. Examine Outdoor Facilities
When scouting prospective apartments, examine their outdoor facilities. The complex should offer a large, clean area where tenants can walk their pets. If the area is small or unkempt, you should choose a different apartment. You may also find that some apartments have fenced-in areas for pets, thereby lowering the risk of a runaway pet. Even if your pet escapes his leash, you can rest assured knowing that he’s confined to the fenced-in area.
5. Examine Inside the Apartment
You should also examine inside the apartment units to ensure they offer a safe, comfortable living environment for you and your pet. Units with hazards like exposed electrical wires and missing stair planks create a dangerous environment. If your pet is curious, he may chew on the wires, thus triggering a shock. If your pet is old or just clumsy, he may fall from atop a damaged staircase. The only way you’ll know if the inside of an apartment unit is safe is by walking through and inspecting it.
6. Bring Your Pet
Once you’ve found an apartment that you like, bring your pet to see how it reacts. Walking your pet around the apartment will expose him to new sights and sounds. Most important, it gives you the opportunity to see whether your pet approves of this new area. If there are other, more menacing pets around, your pet may shows signs of anxiety. If the apartment community is quiet and peaceful, on the other hand, your pet will likely be relaxed.
7. Consider Local Pet Stores
A pet-friendly apartment community should have at least one pet store within a reasonable driving distance. It’s not uncommon for owners to make weekly trips to the pet store to buy food, treats, toys and medicine. Without a local pet store, you may have trouble buying these supplies for your pet.
How accessible is the apartment for pets? If the only available apartment units are on the fourth floor, for instance, your pet may struggle to climb the stairs. Additionally, the apartment should have paved sidewalks where you can safely traverse the grounds with your pet.
9. Follow the Rules
Be sure to follow the apartment’s rules regarding pets. Some tenants ignore their apartment’s pet policy, believing it doesn’t apply to them. If you violate any restrictions included in the lease or pet policy, though, the apartment may evict you.
Following these nine tips will help you choose the perfect apartment for you and your pet. Just remember to take your time and scout multiple complexes before signing a lease.