Signing a Lease for a Pet-Friendly Apartment
Like many would agree, pets are part of the family. They add the warmth and comfort a home should have. Although the number of pet-friendly apartments are on the rise, it can still prove quite difficult to find the right one. Like any rental, there are certain financial restrictions you may come across; especially if you own a pet. We have compiled a list of questions you should always find answers to before you sign a lease for a new rental if you are bringing your pet in tow.
Will your breed or size of pet be an issue?
Find out if there are any restrictions on the size and type of breed permitted in the apartment. Although thought to be unfair there are particular landlords that feel that certain breeds deemed aggressive often fall on this list. Make sure you get a list of specific restrictions and find out if size is a factor; both for cats and dogs. Make sure that if you have any concerns you make them known upfront.
Are there any additional pet type restrictions?
While I’m sure that there are many people who have an attachment to all kinds of pets, there are some landlords that won’t agree with the type of pet you have added to your family. Find out if there are any policies within the community that prohibit exotic animals and rodents. Some residential properties will have restrictions on the size of tanks and enclosures for these pets as they cause damage such as warped floors. Like any contract that you enter: Make sure to read the fine print!!
Are there any additional fees or deposit?
It is becoming more and more common for landlords and rental properties to ask for a non-refundable pet deposit upon moving into your new rental. You should also find out if there is a monthly charge per animal in your apartment. Ensuring clarifications on all extra fees will help you to make an informed financial decision. You don’t want to be caught paying extra per month after your lease has been signed. Find out how the pet deposit is handled; will any be refunded if there is no damage upon vacating the rental?
Will any additional cleaning fees be charged upon move out?
Some rental properties have cleaning clauses that require extra funds to have the carpets cleaned and deodorized upon moving out. Although you may have paid a non-refundable pet deposit, it may not cover additional expenses the landlord or rental property will incur upon your departure. Find out what the cleaning procedures are and any additional costs you may be asked to cover.
Are there any additional rules and regulations relating to your pet?
Most rental properties will have a list of rules and regulations you must adhere to while living on the premises that relate to you and your pet. Ensure that you get a list of these rules before you move in so you may work on training if required. Breaking these rules may result in fines or in the extreme, notice to vacate the premises and subsequent termination of your lease.
Some typical rules may include;
- Excessive barking
- Failure to clean up after you pet
- Allowing your cat outdoors (there are by-laws against this)
- Not having proper ID, vaccination and spay/neutering requirements
Remember, ALWAYS READ THE LEASE IN FULL! Make sure that any questions or concerns are addressed before you sign. You don’t want to find yourself in the situation of choosing between a new home or your pet. Make sure that any information not outlined in the lease be added to further protect yourself.