Tips on finding pet friendly apartment?

prairiemoon2 z6 MAOctober 20, 2010

Time for one of our children to move and they have 2 cats and a dog. So far it's been pretty discouraging. We thought the two cats would be the problem, but it is more about the dog. We keep going over Craig's list, and are calling Realtors, but not having much luck. Has anyone found any other resource for apartments?

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I've been trying to come up with outside-the-box ideas because I know how difficult renting with pets can be.

I would systematically call all of the apartment complexes in the area and ask about their pet policies.

How about making up postcard sized "Apartment Wanted" signs and posting at the local SPCA, dog park, PetsMart, and other dog friendly places? Call the local SPCA and ask if they have suggestions.

You could go on the websites of local rescue groups, including breed-specific rescues to see if they have a forum associated with the website and post there.

Post a cute Apartment Wanted ad on craigslist with a photo of your dog.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2010 at 10:08AM
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In general, I think it's hard to find apartments that will allow dogs. And many apartments will allow one or two pets, but not three. It's not impossible, but it is going to be harder (as you are discovering), and the choice of apartments is going to be limited. Your child may have to accept a poor location or poor floor plan or some other undesirable in order to keep all three pets. Is it a small dog or a large dog? Some places have weight limits for dogs, as well.

Did anyone in your family go to college in the general area where you need the apartment to be? Most colleges and universities keep a list of off-campus housing that's available. I've been able to access such lists as an alum of the school. There might be apartments there that aren't advertised elsewhere.

In my area, there are a lot of apartments and a high rental rate. As a result, there are a lot of property management companies, which manage hundreds and hundreds of apartments. If you can find one, a management company can easily tell you which of their properties allow pets.

If there's a local newspaper, check the classifieds. If there a free local "shopper" type paper, check there as well. Check bulletin boards in supermarkets and the like. Ask at the public library if there are any renter resources. Get the word out to as many people as possible that you are looking for a pet friendly apartment--there are a lot of people who have one or two apartments for rent. They can sometimes be more flexible than a large, faceless, management company or the owner of a large, multi-unit building who has to keep the rules the same for everyone.

My town has an email mailing list that residents can sign up for and send general emails on. If something like that is available in your area, it's worth a try sending out a message asking for leads.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2010 at 10:14AM
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Have you even considered renting a house?

    Bookmark   October 21, 2010 at 5:30PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Wow, you all came up with a few ideas I hadnâÂÂt thought of! Advertising at pet friendly places, might be pretty good. Also, trying the off campus postings at the college one of the kids went to might be good too. Our town has a town âÂÂboardsâ too, I havenâÂÂt posted there yet. Yes, IâÂÂve been contacting realtors about house rentals but so far they are pretty expensive and worse about pets than anywhere else IâÂÂve looked.

Two good, my son had a friend email him that they might be interested in taking a cat. Second, weâÂÂve talked to him about dog training. The dog is pretty good, but sometimes chews things while he is out. HasnâÂÂt chewed anything other than his own furniture so far, but I thought more training might reassure potential landlords. We have found exactly ONE potential apartment and have an appt this weekend for my son and his dog to check out.

Thanks for the great ideas!

    Bookmark   October 21, 2010 at 6:51PM
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Yes, IâÂÂve been contacting realtors about house rentals but so far they are pretty expensive and worse about pets than anywhere else IâÂÂve looked.

You should try to find private owners, (no realtor involved). Which usually turn up via ads. I use Craig's list because it's free and gets a lot of exposure compared to cost & restrictions of local paper. There's also Kijiji (which I see eBay has now purchased, but it's still online classified. )

I usually have a strict no pets policy for houses - not so much because of the animals (love them) but because of bad pet owners ruining it for good ones. A bored pet that lacks attention and exercise is a pet prone to taking out their frustrations elsewhere. Broke my own No Pets rule once, can't do it again. Lovely sweet dog, on the larger side. She was left alone far too long over the day, and her tendency to chew when anxious/bored/lonely led to some woodwork damage.

Recently I discovered something else, in talking to our insurance agent. A lot of insurance companies are beginning to compile & keep lists of potentially 'risky' breeds that could possibly bite or show aggression. (I was surprised at some breeds listed, and don't necessarily agree, but I don't make those rules.) Anyway, our agent said a lot of companies that write homeowners or renters insurance are reluctant to issue policies where those 'higher risk' breeds are present, due to the possible exposure to a claim the company could face. So that could also be another reason.

I was going to also suggest a simple google with the zip code, like this "for rent 54321". Might find something you've not seen yet. Then also google "for rent 54321 pet friendly". I just tried it in my zip code, pulled up a lot I wasn't aware allowed pets.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2010 at 8:54AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Thanks Moonshadow. I don't disagree at all about pet owners that aren't able to keep their animals from being destructive. I'm not sure what a solution would be, when everyone seems to have to work. Rents in our area are astronomical! The cost of living is so high anyway. Now it's expected that either you are a couple with both people working or you're single and have to have a roommate or two to afford the rent. It puts both the tenant and the landlord in a difficult position.

We don't have a dog at the moment. When we did, I spent a year training the dog and he was a pleasure and we never had an ounce of damage. But I was not a working Mom and there was someone home with the dog, most of the time, except for short periods of time. I think if I was a working person with a pet, I would try to have more than one pet to keep each other company while I was at work. Which would also be a no go with most landlords.

The higher risk breeds idea, doesn't surprise me too much. I just looked up the list and I can imagine that there are more problems with these dogs than others. Personally, I've had a doberman that was in our family since a puppy and lived to be 15 years old. It was my sister's. She was a love. Raised to be gentle, with a lot of socialization with other pets and kids hanging all over her growing up. I don't know if that is an exception. I assume some of these breeds have been bred because of their tendency for dominance and aggression for the security they offer. I've read way too many stories of Pit Bull attacks and have developed a healthy fear of them. Have also heard stories of wolf hybrids that have attacked their own family members.

Thanks, I think that's a great idea about the google search. I've always thought my google search methods are pretty limited. [g]

    Bookmark   October 25, 2010 at 6:48PM
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