Due to the current economic climate, more pet-friendly rentals have become available. Property management companies need all the business they can get. For some, that means opening their properties to pet owners, even if dogs were previously disallowed. However, owners of large dogs continue to struggle with finding the right rental home that will accept their furry family members. An ill-mannered Pekingese may be welcome, while the most placid of Mastiffs is turned away unseen. So, what’s a large dog lover to do, besides look into home ownership?
Instead of wasting your time calling or emailing dozens of property owners to ask if your dog(s) will be welcomed, try advertising your needs and allowing property owners to come to you. Craigslist has a “housing wanted” section where you can describe yourself and what type of rental you’re seeking. When I used this method to find a rental home that would welcome my dozen-plus rats, smallish dog and young cat, I got several responses within a day. Here’s an example of an advertisement that might attract responses from the kind of property owners a large dog owner would want to meet:
Seeking Pet-Friendly Rental Home, 3+ Bedrooms. Must allow LARGE dogs!
“Quiet professional couple seek a rental home in the downtown area that will welcome our two English Mastiffs. Both dogs are housetrained adults and non-destructive. The ideal home will have three or more bedrooms and at least 1 1/2 baths. Yard with six-foot privacy fence is a must. Hardwood floors a plus, but not necessary. We have an excellent rental history with no evictions and can provide references. Will be especially interested in a home in a safe neighborhood with proximity to public parks and to the downtown arts district. Will pay a reasonable pet deposit, but we are not interested in properties with monthly pet rent or non-refundable pet fees.”
Make sure to specify the amount you’re willing to pay. Avoid making any apologies for your dogs or getting carried away with describing what wonderful tenants they’d be. If you have to put a lot of effort into talking someone into renting to you, they’re unlikely to be very accomodating during your lease.
If you are involved in your dog’s breed club at all, use those contacts to announce you’re seeking a new rental home for yourself and your dogs. Many people have rental properties. You might know your next landlord already, yet have never realized he was a property owner! If you find a property owner who owns dogs of your breed of choice, you know that your dogs won’t be a stumbling block.
Many large shelters and rescues keep a list of pet-friendly apartment complexes and accept listings of rental houses that welcome pets. Even if your nearest shelter doesn’t provide this service, they probably know a local organization that does.