The hysterical videos, with cats or dogs ‘gone wild’ while home alone, are loved by everyone but their owners, their neighbors or their landlords. Consequently, renting with a furry and four-legged companion provides a number of initial hurdles, but if you are pro-active in your search and diligent as a pet owner,  your dream rental may be right around the corner.

1. Identify a genuinely pet-friendly rental

As with any real estate transaction, it is location, location, location. For canines, it’s obviously important that the rental is the right size for your pet and its activity level. Is it convenient for you to take your dog in and out for walks and bathroom trips? Is the building located near a trail or park and is there a ‘relief station’ for them on the property; well- equipped with trash bags and a refuse can? For felines, are they allowed to sun themselves on the balcony occasionally? Do the walls have adequate sound-proofing so your pet doesn’t get anxious hearing people and other animals?

2. Seal the Deal

Even when advertised as pet-friendly, many rentals have breed and weight restrictions, so be sure to mention the kind of dog you have during your initial meetings with the landlord. If you’re in question as to whether a place might accept pets, it’s often best to greet the landlord in person to establish a good first impression and prepare a pet resume, which includes references from your current landlord or neighbors, your vet as to its health and certificates from any obedience or training classes it has completed.  Offer to introduce the pet and make every effort to assure that Fido is well-groomed, calm and ready to win  over the landlord.

Now that you’ve bonded, get it in writing. It’s important to protect your interests as a pet owner, so make sure there is a section or addendum on your lease clearly stating that you are allowed to keep your pet (specify breed and number of pets) and detail:

  • Any security deposits and/or additional one-time or monthly fees.
  • What type of wear-and-tear or damages fall outside the range of what is considered standard.
  • If possible, what is the range for additional fees you might be responsible for should your pet be determined to cause damage that falls outside the normal range.

3. Be a Good Neighbor

Try to spend plenty of time with your pet in your new home initially as they become accustomed to the sounds, scents and new routines. Always provide plenty of water and food and consider hiring a pet sitter to visit if you’re going to be gone for too long. Ask your neighbors if your pet is being a disturbance while you’re gone, as it’s easier to initiate the conversation and together work on a solution than to be surprised by a nasty note.  Make time to exercise and socialize your pet, keep them on a leash when strolling the complex and scoop the poop, which basically keeps the peace with the pet police!

For more information on Avilla’s pet friendly rental programs, please contact us at