Trying to rent a home if you have a dog or want to get a dog can be hard, but sometimes, there is room for negotiation on this with the right landlord. Renting a place from someone who has loads of dogs of their own, volunteers in a shelter, and generally is always keen to help dogs out would be ideal in this respect, but you’re fairly unlikely to find such a person on the off chance!
That said, picking a landlord that is a dog lover already – and even if they’re not, if you can convince them that you can mitigate any problems they foresee with permitting a dog – can mean that a dog would be allowed in some cases even if not others.
This article will share some tips on increasing the chances of a landlord agreeing to let you have a dog in your rental home. Read on to learn more.
First of all, the type of landlord can have a reasonable degree of impact on whether or not they’ll let you have a dog. Generally, commercial landlords and properties managed by companies won’t let you have a dog no matter what you say or do.
Private landlords on the other hand may be more flexible, particularly if they have a dog themselves and you deal with them directly so that they can get a feel for you.
Look for private adverts and be prepared to make a pitch when you get chatting, and to avoid wasting your time, avoid adverts that outright state that no pets are allowed!
Some dogs can be very destructive, and the cost of replacing both direct damage and even dog-related wear and tear can soon far exceed a reasonable security deposit. Even if you know that your dog won’t cause such problems, the landlord won’t.
But if you offer to increase the security deposit (a usual deposit is one month’s rental so perhaps offering two) this can reassure the landlord both that they would not be out of pocket if your dog was destructive, and that you are committed enough to maintaining their property to put that amount of money on the table.
A caveat in all rental agreements is that the property can be inspected by the landlord or their agent at a certain level of frequency and by prior arrangement with the tenant. Generally these are no more frequent than every three months, and after the initial few months of the tenancy have passed without incident, they often tail off.
However, if you offer or are willing to allow the landlord to inspect for damage more regularly, this may help to sway them. You will generally find too that they will relax the frequency that they actually want to do this once they’re happy that your dog isn’t destroying their asset!
A flea infestation in a home of any kind can cost a lot of money to resolve. Responsible dog owners would not permit their home to become infested with fleas in the first place, but a responsible landlord will have to bear in mind this possibility and act accordingly.
If you’re in negotiation with a landlord that is willing to consider allowing you to keep a dog, being proactive about addressing their concerns is helpful, and the fact you bring them up and offer goes in your favour too.
Explain how you keep your dog flea-free and also offer to have the home professionally fumigated when you leave, even with this in mind.
If you’re already renting a home with a dog, it can be reassuring for your new prospective landlord to know that they aren’t your first experiment in this respect and that you’re not causing issues in your current home. Offer to put them in contact with your current or past landlord independently, to give them some peace of mind about what your dog is like and how you manage them.
If you don’t have a dog at present and are planning for the future, you might want to talk to your future landlord about possibilities to be decided later on.
Many landlords that want to rent a property for the long term will want to ensure they don’t get stuck with a bad tenant when they do, and will offer a shorter rental term at first to ensure there aren’t any problems.
In this type of situation, they might not be willing to let you get a dog immediately, both as they’re not sure that you’re the type of tenant they want yet, and as they’re not sure whether or not you really will stay for the long term.
But in such a situation, you might be able to agree at the outset that after the initial six months or year when you are both happy to renew, the discussion about the dog can take place again to work into the new tenancy agreement going forwards.
Remember that there is no guarantee here, and the landlord can still say no (even if they are happy to renew the tenancy) down the line, but if they do, you are then free to seek another place at that point too.