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If you’re a renter with a pet, you’ve probably heard a little bit about pet-friendly apartments. They’re extraordinarily popular among pet owners right now, and for good reason. If you have a furry, feathered, or scaly friend, it can be difficult to find a rental. This is because many landlords are nervous about renting to pet owners. Some of them also put breed restrictions in place. Pet-friendly apartments can ease this burden a great deal by creating rental units that actually take pet owners’ needs into consideration.

That’s why we’ve created this complete guide to pet-friendly apartments, with all of the most common questions about them addressed. We’ll even show you how to search for pet-friendly apartments in your area on Dwellsy. This way, you can make the most informed decision possible as you move rentals with your pet. So let’s dive in and learn more about why pet-friendly apartments are so popular.

What is a Pet-Friendly Apartment?

A pet-friendly apartment is just what it sounds like: it’s an apartment in a building that caters specifically to the needs of pet owners and their animals. This means that it fosters a welcoming and friendly environment for both you and your favorite creature. Pet-friendly apartments are considered desirable for their pet amenities, which are not found in most normal apartment complexes.

How Are the Amenities Different Than a Normal Apartment?

So what exactly are the unique amenities many pet-friendly apartments offer for their tenants? Some of the more common ones are communal play areas or being in a location right next to a dog park. Other common pet amenities are on-site dog washes or pet-sitting. Due to these shared amenities, there is often a community of pet-loving neighbors for you to be a part of. These communities often with their own building-wide social gatherings. This may prove very beneficial for your pet’s social life and yours.

How is a Pet-Friendly Apartment Different From a “Pets Allowed” Apartment?

Obviously “no pets allowed” apartments make their feelings clearly known, but you may wonder if there’s a big difference between pet-friendly apartments and “pets allowed” apartments. The answer is that pet owners will likely want to lean more towards pet-friendly apartments if they have the option. “Pets allowed” markers mean that the landlord is open to pets, but does not necessarily welcome them. This means that they typically don’t offer the same pet amenities that pet-friendly apartments do. You probably won’t get the same type of warm and friendly atmosphere that you would in a pet-friendly apartment. “Pets allowed” markers may also mean that there is less leniency in the building concerning loud animal noises, accidental messes, or smells.

Can I Have Any Type of Pet in a Pet-Friendly Apartment?

The short answer is no, you cannot have any type of pet you like, even if the apartment is “pet-friendly.” Landlords have different preferences when it comes to what kinds of animals are allowed in their apartments. They may have restrictions around breed, weight, number of pets, or many other different characteristics. Like many other landlords, the landlords of pet-friendly apartments are concerned about the damage that your pet could cause. This is often the cause of these restrictions. Other times, it is a matter of personal preference or sensitivity to the needs of others living in the building.

In many cases, it is worth reaching out to the landlord to discuss and negotiate if you have a type of pet they do not allow in their building. Sometimes, a landlord will make an exception; after all, they are pet-friendly for a reason. One of the biggest cases for an exception is if you have a service animal or an emotional support animal. If you can provide proof of training for your animal, like the canine good citizen certification, some landlords will be willing to reconsider their policy.  If you are relocating between states, make sure that your pet is allowed in the state to which you’re moving. For example, ferrets and hedgehogs which are popular small pets in much of the US are illegal in CA. 

What If I Have a Service Animal or an Emotional Support Animal? 

Service animals and emotional support animals have different legal rights than normal pets do. Their housing rights reflect this. We have a more detailed blog post on emotional support animals vs service animals, including a description of the differences between the two types of animals. However, in both cases, a landlord can only deny a service or emotional support animal in a very limited set of circumstances, if the tenant can prove that they are disabled. This is true of any type of rental apartment, be it pet-friendly, “pets allowed,” or “no pets allowed.” Exceptions must usually be made for both service animals and emotional support animals.

So, if you own one of these types of animals, your options are open legally. However, we would still highly recommend looking into pet-friendly apartments. They are more suitable for anyone living with pets of any kind. You may find your life as a renter considerably easier if your landlord and neighbors are pet lovers. This is not to mention the pet amenities that you will likely have access to. 

pet friendly apartments

Will I Still Have to Pay a Pet Deposit in a Pet-Friendly Apartment?

This is something that will vary from apartment to apartment, but the answer is often yes. The purpose of a pet deposit is typically to cover the damage your pet might cause to your unit. This concern doesn’t go away for the landlord even if your apartment is pet-friendly.

One important thing to note as you consider pet deposits is that they are legal in some states and illegal in others. Be sure to check the laws in your state. That way, you’ll understand if a landlord is trying to charge you illegally.

In certain states, Lemonade renters insurance would provide coverage for damage done to a landlord’s property from the tenants’ pet. It provides up to $500 worth of coverage (if the damage exceeds your apartment’s security or pet deposit). 

Is the Rent Higher in a Pet-Friendly Apartment?

Yes, the rent for a pet-friendly apartment can often be higher than it is for a regular apartment, especially when you . This is for a couple of reasons. The first is that there are fewer pet-friendly apartments out there than there are regular ones. However, pet ownership continues to grow. This means that the demand for them is high, which allows landlords to charge a premium. The second reason is that these apartments often offer specific amenities that can be hard to find elsewhere, so landlords charge higher rent to recoup the cost of having these amenities.

As you consider whether you’d like to move into a pet-friendly apartment, consider whether the convenience of the amenities, the location, and the social opportunities available for you and your pet are worth the higher rent.   

How Do I Find a Pet-Friendly Apartment on Dwellsy?

Dwellsy’s property search tool makes it easy for you to find pet-friendly apartments. Simply enter the area that you would like to see rentals in, add “Pet Care/Grooming” to your “Needs” on the dropdown menu, and search. You will be able to see all of the pet-friendly rentals in the area you would like to live in.

We hope that this guide helped you to understand what pet-friendly apartments are and whether renting in one is right for you. If you’ve got a furry friend, they can truly be a wonderful opportunity with many conveniences. Best of luck as you continue your search for a rental!

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