One of the hardest parts about being a pet owner is finding a place to call home, if you do not yet own one. Finding a suitable rental that allows pets can be a nightmare from time to time there are disappointed people who end up walking away as we do not often have affordable, pet friendly rentals available through the office.
Thanks to the work of irresponsible tenants, responsible pet owners get the short end of the stick when it comes to rentals. Most landlords who have had poor experiences with previous pet owning tenants have hopped onto the Never Again train as carpets have been stained, walls chewed up, and lawns filled with a type of Hershey’s Kiss you don’t want to eat.
Besides checking to see if a rental is pet friendly, owners need to ask themselves the other two important questions. Is it in a safe area? Can I afford this monthly?
There are a lot, and I mean A LOT of strata complex’s who have weight and breed restrictions in their bylaws, so apartments and townhomes are normally off limits if you have a larger breed of dog. Most of the time, that leaves you with only homes that most likely have excessive rental prices, or in a neighbourhood you probably don’t want to be in.
I currently live in a pet friendly rental, after we had moved in we were allowed to get a dog and we ended up with the Muscular Marshmallow you all know as Bain. Without the trust and generosity from my landlord, I wouldn’t have Bain or the blog. As a pet owner, I try very hard to keep the house smelling clean, the barking to a minimum and the yard cleaned up.
So, what can people do to become the most responsible, scrumptious pet owning tenants?
1.) Prevent Nuisance Barking
Along with off leash dogs and not picking up after your pet, this is one of the most common complaints strata complex’s receive regarding animals.
Do not leave your dog to it’s own devices outside, some breeds are also more vocal than others. Try to provide proper exercise and mental stimulation. Even the laziest of dogs need exercise.
2.) Pick Up After Your Pet
No one likes stepping in poop. This should be followed by everyone, tenants and owners. This is especially important if you live in an apartment complex or townhouse.
3.) Keep Your Party To A Minimum of 1-2 Pets
Every now and then we have customers come into the office searching for a pet friendly home. However, some customers have 2 dogs, 2 cats and a bird, for example. As much as I’d love another cat, or dog, I don’t own my own home. I cannot make an irresponsible decision just because I want another pet in the home while renting.
4.) Spay & Neuter Your Pets
Besides scratching stair carpet, another main concern when accepting cats into the home is the spraying from unneutered male cats. Cats with outside privileges can go anywhere they want, unsupervised. If your cat is not spayed or neutered, there is a chance for kittens right around the corner.
5.) Keep Your Dog On Leash
The last thing anyone needs is giving controversial breeds even more of a bad rap. Whether you are outside of your apartment, or in the front yard, always keep your dog on leash. Even if you know your dog is friendly, others may not. If you own a larger breed, you can end up scaring your neighbours and receiving leash fines if your dog is running loose.
6.) Don’t Lie About the Amount or Type of Pets
Tenants have snuck in pets, even when stating no pets in their agreement. Unfortunately, some pets snuck in have been goats, chickens and snakes. There is always a time and place for Farmville, folks.
Want to add another pet into your home? Talk to your landlord or management company first, do not lie and sneak unwanted pets into your home. If there was any potential to add a pet into your property, lying will break any existing trust with your landlord and they will be first in line to buy their ticket for the Never Again train.
7.) Keep Your Rental Clean
I knew what I was getting into when I was going to end up with a 100lb dog, yet I’m still baffled by the amount of fur that comes off of Bain when he sheds his winter coat.
Make sure to invest in a proper grooming tool and vacuum / sweep up any unwanted fur. Accidents in the home? Use proper cleaning techniques and supplies so that there are no lingering odours.
8.) Don’t Abandon Your Pets
I heard of a tenant last year who had left their Pug at home for the entire weekend, on it’s own. There have also been stories of tenants vacating properties and leaving their cat or dog behind.
While the type of people mentioned above should be blacklisted, remind yourself of the type of commitment you are getting into before adding a pet to the family. When leaving for vacation, make the proper accommodations for your pet if they can not come along.
9.) Teach Pet Etiquette for Kids and Adults
If you live in a busy, kid friendly complex help teach others how to properly greet dogs. Some people, especially children, may have an urge to rush up to your dog to pet it. Teaching proper dog etiquette can help keep both parties safe while educating others.
10.) Keep A List of Good References
If you have previously lived in other rental properties with pets, it’s always best to keep a list of good references to show your next landlord just how responsible you are with your furry family members.
It’ll be such a nice relief to own my home one day, for now I’ll keep working on being the best tenant and pet owner I can be. For others, the quest continues. With responsible pet ownership, hopefully one day it’ll much easier for potential tenants to find a home where everyone can be accepted.