tips for pet friendly housing

Finding an apartment in the Bay Area is challenging, but it can be extra-daunting when you've got a four-legged housemate coming with you. Abandoning your animal for an apartment shouldn't be an option, and with these tools and tips it doesn't have to be. 

Start looking at least 6 weeks before your move-out date and utilize all methods to secure housing. These may include: newspapers, magazines, listing services and word of mouth. Here are some search engines that you can use to help find pet-friendly apartments and rentals: 

Lovely Apartment
HotPads Oakland

Understand why many rentals reject pets. Many landlords have had bad experiences with irresponsible pet owners who didn't take care of their property by leaving feces, sneaking pets in, or ruining carpets and drapes. They also worry about barking dogs and other destruction to their unit.

Provide references from previous landlords, obedience instructors, pet sitters, groomers, veterinarian, friends, neighbors, etc.

Prove you are a responsible pet owner. Show documentation stating that you are up-to-date on vaccinations, on a regular flea preventative and that your animal is spayed or neutered and licensed. Make it clear that you keep your cat inside and your dog under control at all times and that you understand the health and safety benefits of doing so.

Offer an extra pet deposit and offer to sign a pet agreement. Ensure your landlord that your pet will not damage their property. Point out that your pet is housetrained or litter box trained and that you provide them with daily exercise.

Promote your pet. Offer to bring your pet to meet the owner or manager or invite them to visit you in your current home. A freshly groomed, well-behaved pet will speak volumes.

Create a pet resume by compiling the above information into a short scrapbook with photos and submit it with your tenant application form. Pet Resume Information

Don't try to sneak your pet in. Keeping an animal in violation of a no-pets rule contributes to the general inclination of landlords not to allow pets. You also may be subject to possible eviction or other legal action.

Maintain a pet emergency kit that includes an emergency plan and supplies in the event the home must be quickly evacuated because of a disaster. Disaster Prep Information