Finding the perfect place to live can be tricky – especially if you’re a pet owner trying to rent an apartment. In addition to searching for a home that’s in the right location with the right amenities for the right price, pet owners also have to find one that welcomes their four-legged roommates. Not all pet-friendly rentals are created equal, which is why it’s important that pet owners do their research before deciding on the next place to live with their furry family members.
Here are a few things to keep in mind while on the hunt for a pet-friendly apartment so that you don’t end up in the doghouse:
Apartment Rules and Restrictions
Just because an apartment community touts itself as pet-friendly doesn’t necessarily mean that it will accept your animals. Some apartments have policies that don’t allow pets of certain breeds or over a specific weight, and some require that you do not have more than a given number of pets – no matter how adorable! Save yourself time and energy by calling ahead and asking an apartment representative about your specific pet situation. This way, you won’t risk falling in love with a place that won’t ultimately work out.
Insurance, Deposits and Fees
It’s also a good idea to also ask about pet fees prior to visiting. Is there a pet deposit? Is it refundable or nonrefundable? Will you be required to buy extra apartment insurance if you have a pet? If so, what’s the cost of that? Are there any other fees – puppy park maintenance, fines for receiving noise complaints, etc.? Make sure you know the facts before signing on the dotted line so that you don’t end up paying more per month than you can afford.
If you’re renting an apartment and own dogs, it’s also especially important to make sure that the pet-friendly rental property you choose offers plenty of nearby green space where your pups can play and, of course, do their business. Check to see if the apartment for rent is near local parks or, better yet, if the community has a dog park.
Also, be sure to work out the logistics of letting your dogs outside midday because making this a part of your pets’ daily routine is essential to keeping them happy and your carpet accident-free. If the apartments is close enough to your office, you may be able to slip out at lunch and take your pets on a quick walk. If it isn’t, ask the apartment leasing office if it offers a dog walking service or can recommend one used by other residents.
Invest in training for your dogs or cats so that they know the home rules. Training can be expensive, but it is considerably less than the cost of replacing clothing, furniture, carpet, door frames, blinds… you get the picture. Training will also help to ensure that your pets don’t bark constantly, becoming a nuisance to your neighbors.
Even with the best-trained pets, accidents sometimes happen. It’s a good idea to keep a few household cleaning products around in case they do. You don’t need anything fancy. Rubber gloves, paper towels, dish soap, laundry stain remover, white vinegar and baking soda should do the trick. Clean up messes on carpet as soon as you find them so that stains don’t have time to set. Here’s how:
First, put on rubber gloves. Use a paper towel to blot up any wetness or pick up puppy poop and dispose of it. Next, use dish soap to make soapy water and blot the stained area with it. That should disinfect the area and help to reduce the stain. To fully remove the stain, spray laundry stain remover on the area and blot until the stain is completely gone, then dry the area with paper towels. Finally, to deodorize, mix a half cup of white vinegar and water and pour it over the stain. Blot this as well, then sprinkle baking soda over the area and massage it into the carpet. Vacuum, and relax. The carpet’s good as new.