Things You Know Before Moving into a Pet-Friendly Apartment

Are you looking to relocate with your furry friend? Finding a pet-friendly apartment used to be difficult, but these days more and more apartment communities are allowing renters to bring along their furry friends. Every apartment has different rules when it comes to pets. Here are a few things you should know or ask about when finding pet friendly apartments for rent for you and your best canine or feline companion. 

If you are not sure – ask! 

Country Club Village apartment interior
Country Club Village in Scotch Plains, NJ is Pet Friendly

Asking if pets are allowed is the first thing that you should do. If you come across an apartment that you love but it does not say anything about pets, call and ask. There are other details that go deeper into the pet policy, but this is what you should do before anything else. 

Find Out About Restrictions 

Outside view of the Birchwood Park apartment community
Birchwood Park in Cranford, NJ is Pet-Friendly

Some apartments may set restrictions based on your pet’s age, weight, or breed.  Some apartment communities may have a list of banned breeds that simply do not work for the communities’ environment. Before you more forward on the apartment, check what their policy is. If it is not listed on their website, call the office or stop by.  

Provide a Pet Reference 

A couple sits on a sofa in their Garden Community Apartment with their dog and cat.

Most landlords or property managers will ask for references before they agree to rent an apartment. Landlords want to know in advance that a prospective renter is a good risk, and the same thing goes for their pet. Show up with a reference letter or two from your current landlord or neighbor – saying that your furry companion didn’t cause any damage or disturbance by howling all day and night.  

Make a Pet Resume 

Small dog sitting on a doctor's table

In a way, you and your pet are “interviewing” for a new place to call home. Why not make the best impression you can? The resume can list the regular veterinary care, which shows that your pet is up to date on all shots and that it has been spayed or neutered. This also proves that you are a responsible owner. If your pet went to and obedience or training school, documentation like that is always great to show. 

Extra Fees/Deposits

Green Meadows apartment interior
Green Meadows at Pleasant Plains in Toms River, NJ is Pet Friendly

Take note that some apartment communities may charge an additional security deposit for pets. They will do this to ensure they are covered in case there are any damages caused by your pet or if the space needs additional cleaning. Other apartments may even charge extra fees per month. Add this into your costs for rent each month before signing a lease. It’s important to note that a pet deposit may be part of your security deposit and may be returned at the end of your lease. A pet-fee is different – it is non-refundable. Some landlords or property managers will want you to pay on a monthly basis or it could be paid up front. Check with the community you’re thinking of moving into to find out what the exact charges may be. 

Pet Rules 

Dog and cat sitting together

Property managers usually have a list of rules for pet owners specifically. You will want to read your lease very carefully. If your pet breaks the rules it could result in fines and depending on the situation – it could even result in the termination of your lease. Some of these rules may include: 

  • Leash and dog park facility policies 
  • Collar and ID 
  • Outdoor Cats 
  • Barking Dogs 
  • Animal dropping fines 
  • Vaccination and spay/neutering requirements 
  • Specific cleaning requirements after vacating the apartment 

Renter’s Insurance

Green Hill luxury rentals interior
Open floor living rooms at Green Hill Luxury Rentals allow your pets to roam!

Most apartment communities will require their tenants to purchase renter’s insurance. If the landlord is on the fence about allowing your pet to live on the premises – buying renter’s insurance will help ease the landlord or property manager’s worries. This will cover you if your pet causes any damages. 

Pet Amenities

Walkways and green grass at Kinnelon Heights
Walkways and lots of grass for your pooch at Kinnelon Heights.

Pets need to be kept active. A dog may be looking for open spaces where they can run, play, and meet other dogs or dog owners. Ask the prospective community if they have a designated area to walk your dog. Also, check with the municipality you are looking to live in to see what pet-friendly parks are located nearby. You’ll also want to research nearby vets so you know who you can go to before any emergencies happen. 

If you live on your own, having a pet companion is wonderful. However, if you do choose to move to a pet-friendly apartment rental, make sure that you have a nearby resource to help you take care of your furry friend if you must be gone on business or vacation for an extended period. Check local and reputable pet sitters, kennels, and vets. Make sure you have someone you trust to care for your special friend. 

Click on the link below and find the perfect place for you and your furry friend at one of our Garden Apartment Communities