Due to the current real estate market, rentals are becoming scarce. Pet friendly rentals have become more of a fairy tale without the happy ending. In the last few weeks I have unfortunately heard from two different owners that they had to put their pets down due to them not being able to find a pet friendly home. One owner had to put her cat down, while the other had to put her cat and dog down and still has two cats and two dogs. However, that is a topic for another day.
When pet owners do find that needle in a haystack, accidents will happen with even the most responsible individuals. As most pet owners know, surprises comes with the job. Here is what I’ve learned while renting with pets for the last 5 years.
1.) Accidents Will Happen
You can be as vigilant as a hawk, but every now and then there might be a surprise waiting when you arrive home from work. This past month Bain had a strong bout of diarrhea, and it happened just before I booked to have the carpets cleaned in the house. I still have no idea what caused it, and Bain remained as bouncy as ever with the same hungry hippo appetite. My only guess is the manure sprayed around the trail we walk, tie that in with a grass eating assassin and he may have snuck in some bites while I wasn’t looking. So, as pet owners as much as we would like keep our home nice and clean – accidents will happen.
2.) Always Have a Plan B
As mentioned, with the current real-estate market homes are being sold left and right. If you’re renting, what happens if the owner wants to move back into their home? What if they want to sell? If so, do you have a place to go that will allow your pets? If not, do you have someone to look after your pet(s) while you search for a new place? Are you ready to pack up to a new city if there is currently nothing available where you are? Renting with furry family members can be rewarding, but also stressful. It’s important to not get too comfortable. If something were to happen, always have a Plan B and the funds to finance it.
3.) Do Not Give Into Temptation
Pet owners have big hearts for everything furry, which is why it’s so hard to pass up on a new four-legged family member. As much as I’d love to bring another cat or dog into our group, potentially trying to find another place to live would prove even more difficult than it already would with a cat and large dog. Owners should be responsible for how many pets they bring into their home, as they are a lifelong commitment.
4.) Get To Know the Neighbourhood
If you’re a dog owner, it’s never a bad thing to build friendly relationships with neighbours and regular folk on your walks with your pooch. If you have a misunderstood breed / mix, it will always be helpful to continue to break the barriers and labels society has put on them. Bain has changed the hearts of many, but there still those who believe he’s the spawn of Satan. He’s more like a furry angel who occasionally farts while watching over you. It’s easy to get mad and rip into someone for judging your pet, but it’s important to help educate others and show them a side they most likely haven’t seen. Keep your composure, and be a role model for your dog as he is for other controversial breeds.
5.) Gain Positive References from your Landlord
Before purchasing a home, there may be times where you’ll bounce from rental to rental. Just in case, it’s important to gain positive references from your previous landlords. Were your pets quiet? Did you clean up after your pet? Did your pets bother the neighbours? Responsible owners should have an easier transition into a new rental if your previous landlords find you took care of their home very well while living with your furry family members.
Working in a property management office has allowed me to see many upset owners who cannot find a rental for themselves and their pet(s). It went from a tough market to an extremely tough market. With one available property having over 100 applicants, it’s no surprise that many people in the lower mainland are living hotels, campsites, and one situation – out of a barn. Pet owners may be overlooked when applying for a rental property as most complaints and worries are pets being dirty, noisy and destructive. However, stay positive and help prove to others you are a responsible tenant.