Where to Find A Pet-friendly Rental
It’s not easy finding a rental that will allow you to keep pets without breaking the bank with pet deposits and other fees that are mostly unfair (we’ve seen children do a LOT more damage to a place than pets). But, unfortunately, not everyone loves animals.
Even if you’re buying a place, you need to be aware of pet restrictions in the form of HOA restrictions and zoning ordinances. For example, as beautiful as Colorado is, I would not be able to live there due to so many cities banning pit bulls (or anything resembling a pit bull). Whether you choose to buy or rent, you need to be aware of potential problems.
To rent with your pets, you need to think outside the box. We’ve listed a few dozen unusual places where you can find a pet friendly rental – even if you have a lot of pets – without going broke in the process.
Yes, I said that correctly. Each month, the DOT in your state buys up homes that are in the way of freeways. These homes are often available for rent and since they are going to be demolished when you leave, they don’t care about you having pets. There are some very nice homes on the market and you’ll be able to find some great deals with or without pools. We have located some very nice rentals. For example, a 3-bedroom home with a huge backyard in a very nice area ran us only $500/mo plus utilities. Deposits were first and last month deposit, and we had no lease time limits, since they didn’t know when they would actually tear down the home. We lived there for five years and still moved before they ever asked us to do so. In this way, we were able to keep our two wolf-hybrids without a problem.
Here are just a few places to search for DOT-owned properties.
“While it is good news that most renters seem to enjoy living in pet-friendly apartment communities, the past two years have shown us the majority of pet-owning renters faced some difficulty finding an apartment that allows pets,” said Brad Long, president of Apartments.com. “We believe these trends may increase demand for new apartment construction that includes innovative pet-friendly spaces, amenities and policies, especially as, over the years, nine out of 10 renters have told us pet policies played a deciding role when choosing where to live.”
Apartments.com cite the most popular types of apartment pets cited by more than 3,000 renters surveyed in 2014 were:
1. Cat – 41 percent
2. Small Dog – 39 percent
3. Medium/Large Dog – 34 percent
4. Other (Fish, Bird, Small Mammal) – 13 percent
Look for some pet-friendly property managers. It’s not tough to find, many are very willing to rent to people with pets. We can’t imagine living in an apartment, but I suppose many people enjoy it. We like our freedom, though. Homes are far easier to get pets into. Rural areas are easiest.
Findings from a recent Apartments.com survey reveal a significant majority of renters surveyed own a pet, and most of these renters also believe they share their building with fellow animal lovers. In 2014, 72 percent of renters surveyed said they are pet owners; a slight dip from 75 percent in 2013, but still much higher compared to just 43 percent in 2012.
More than 80 percent of pet-loving renters surveyed by Apartments.com believe their fellow residents either like pets or are indifferent to them living in the building. These findings closely align with the views of renters who don’t own pets. Three quarters of renters without pets said they either enjoy living in a pet-friendly building or they do not have a specific preference.
Our favorite is Zillow – it’s a free app that you can download. This app will also give you a good indication of the neighborhood. Remember, even if a property says they don’t allow pets, it’s best to ask. Many just try don’t want to deal with it, but if you plead your case and provide references, they may be quite willing to let you rent.
National apartment locators
- A Place for Mom (senior living communities)
- Apartment Finder
- Apartment Guide
- Apartment List
- Apartment Search by Cort
- City Leash
- Equity Residential
- Interim Housing Solutions
- Move, Inc.
- Rent Café
This year, less than 20 percent of renters surveyed said they live in a building that has no restrictions whatsoever on what type of pet they are allowed to have (down from nearly 30 percent in 2013). The Apartments.com website provides renters with the ability to tailor searches to only show pet-friendly apartments that allow cats, small dogs or all dogs. However, pet owners should still ask for clarification about what type of pets are allowed and any associated costs such as a pet deposit and/or monthly fee, during their apartment search.
More renters are being asked to pay for the pleasure of having a pet. Close to 80 percent of respondents said they were required to pay a pet deposit, up from around 60 percent in 2013. This year, just over half of renters paid more than $200 annually in pet deposits and monthly fees. Since the costs of renting with a pet add up, renters searching for the most value in their next apartment may want to ask about what specific pet amenities are included within the building and its individual units.
“Pets bring unconditional love and affection into the lives of millions of Americans, and whether an apartment community allows pets can clearly be a deal breaker for many renters,” said Tammy Kotula, public relations and promotions manager for Apartments.com. “In response to the increased demand for pet-friendly apartments over the past two years, we see the rental industry moving toward accommodating the needs of this important and growing segment of renters with flexible pet policies and new construction of apartment buildings that offer a variety of amenities for renters who own pets.”