Finding a new apartment is a giant undertaking, and you want to have everything lined up and ready to go if the perfect rental unit becomes available within your price range. But before you rush to sign on the dotted line of your lease agreement, it’s good to read the fine print on what the landlord expects from you as a tenant. Pets and rentals sometimes don’t mix.
One area that is of great importance is pet restrictions. Landlords often don’t allow pets, or may charge extra for tenants to keep pets inside the rental unit. If you discover your perfect apartment restricts pets, you have some tough choices ahead of you:
1. Find another perfect apartment. Continue on your search for a place you can afford in a good neighborhood that allows pets.
2. Hide the pet. This would mean you’re breaking lease rules, and if discovered, could result in an eviction. Keep in mind that apartment living is a very small community, and pets often make noises, which very likely could be overheard by neighbors. So even if your landlord doesn’t catch wind of your cat or dog, the neighbors might make a complaint about the barking or meowing noises they overhear. Plus, if you need to walk the dog on a daily basis, eventually somebody will see you.
3. Lose the pet. Give your pet to a family member that can keep it and will give it a good home. As a pet-free home, you can then rent the apartment of your choice without anything restricting you.
It’s a good idea to avoid eviction, because your landlord could put an eviction record on your rental history report. Not only then will you be out of a home, but it could cause you problems when applying for a future rental property. Landlords often review applicant’s rental history reports to help narrow down candidates, and an eviction record will not look good to a potential landlord.