Calgary Pet-Friendly Rentals: tips for house-hunters with furchildren
Anyone who has sought pet-friendly rental accommodations knows what they’re up against. A recent online search in Calgary for rental condos/apartments revealed 788 pet-friendly rentals and 2,095 non-pet-friendly. For houses, there were 685 pet-friendly rentals, and 2,022 non-pet-friendly.
It’s not about bad pets – it’s about bad owners – and chances are a bad renter with pets is going to be a bad renter without pets.
Pets can and do cause damage to properties. They can urinate and defecate on carpets and walls. They can scratch floors, furniture, walls, and doors, damage screens, or otherwise damage a house. This is usually down to the owner. A responsible pet guardian will ensure that their furry family member is well trained, well behaved, and well socialized.
- Cats should have adequate, clean litter boxes and dogs should be trained to ‘do their business’ in a specific place outside, preferably in a gravelled area so as not to destroy grass.
- Some small dogs can even be litter (or potty pad) trained to do their business indoors, which can be preferable in high-rise apartments where it’s difficult to take Fido outside easily.
- Cats should be provided with some type of scratching post to scratch so they will leave furniture and walls alone.
- Destructive behaviour in dogs is often the result of boredom so it’s important to provide enough exercise and stimulation for your furry buddy.
A good way to minimize boredom in pets is to have two of them so they can keep each other company. This, of course, will often further reduce your options in rental properties. If a landlord raises an eyebrow at one pet, that same landlord will likely raise both eyebrows at the idea of two! What’s a renter to do?
- To show that you’re a responsible tenant, be prepared with references from past landlords who can vouch for your track record as a responsible pet owner.
- If you’ve taken your dog for training (which, as a good dog owner, you should), have the certificates of completion on hand to show potential landlords.
- If your dog is involved in agility or other dog sports, let your owner/property manager know – it shows commitment to your pet. Plus if he can do tricks, maybe he can win the landlord over with cuteness!
- Offer to have the landlord or manager of the rental property meet your pet(s).
- Offer a ‘pet damage deposit’ on top of your security deposit. In Alberta, a landlord can charge a non-refundable sum in addition to a security deposit for the privilege of having a pet. Your landlord may not even be aware he can do this – offering it upfront may be a show of good faith. I would suggest you offer a pet damage deposit but ask that it be refunded at the end of your tenancy if the property remains undamaged by your pet. Why it should be non-refundable is beyond me!
Whether you’re renting a house, a condo, or an apartment – if you’re a pet lover, a house is not a home until it has the heart of a furry companion beating within its four walls.
Written by Gayle Phillips
Photo by nguyen hoangnam