Many landlords in L.A. don’t allow pets or have stringent pet restrictions. On the other hand, there are many available Pet Friendly apartments in Los Angeles. But often you’ll an rental ad where, instead of the landlord saying “pets OK”, s/he hedges with something like “will consider” pets. That’s landlord speak for: “I don’t really want some strange animal tearing up my property and I will probably choose another renter over you unless you can prove to me you are a responsible pet owner”. Glad we clarified that! Follow these tips to improve your chances of convincing a landlord to consider your pet.
1) Take photos of your current house and yard.
One of the main reasons landlords don’t allow pets is because they are worried about damage. By providing photos of the home you are moving out of, you verify visually that you have a good pet that does not cause damage. Are the floors in good shape and free of stains and scratches? How is the yard? Is the yard and landscaping in good condition? Take photos to show the potential new landlord.
2) Ask your current landlord to write a reference specifically addressing your pet.
When vetting applicants, landlords rely heavily on previous landlord references. Ask your previous landlord to write a statement about your pet. When a landlord reads the reference from your previous landlord stating that your pet did no damage and that you left your home in great condition, you may be able to convince him to accept your pet.
3) Have additional references ready.
A good reference would be a vet, dog walker, past neighbor, or someone who knows your pet.
4) Talk to the landlord about what kind of pet owner you are.
Do you walk your dog 3 times a day? Do you have a dog walker? Do you take your dog to work with you? Does your dog take flea medication?
5) Bring your pet with you to the showing.
Have the landlord meet your pet in person. The landlord can see in person that your dog is well behaved, submissive, obedient.
6) Fill our a pet application and include with your application package.
Even if the landlord doesn’t request it, it will definitely help you to have one filled out. If you need an sample pet application, download one from The Rental Girl, click here.
7) Get Pet Liability Insurance.
Many landlords are worried about liability. If you have a dog or cat that bites someone, the landlord can get sued. Having pet insurance helps alleviate the landlords liability. Contact your insurance broker for rates and check out this article from Forbes for some in-depth info.
8) Offer to include a pet addendum with the lease.
Not only are landlords worried about liability, they are also worried about damage. By offering a pet addendum to the lease you are illustrating to the landlord that you are a responsible pet owner and that you want to take good care of the property. You can get a really good pet addendum from the Humane Society, here for link.
9) Be willing to negotiate.
If the landlord has a “No Pet” policy and you are trying to convince him to accept your furry friend, be willing to negotiate. You can’t simply say “Accept my pet because I’m such a great tenant” — that ain’t going to do the trick. If the landlord is asking for a 1 year lease, you can offer 18 months or 2 years. Or, you can can offer a higher rent. It’s not uncommon for properties that allow pets to be $25-$50 more per month than those that do not allow pets.
10) Do Not Give Away Your Pet!
Finding a pet friendly rental may be difficult, but it’s not impossible. You’ll have to look a little harder and a little longer, you may have to compromise on preferred amenities and you may have to pay a little higher rent. But you CAN find something. Our final advice to you is to not give up.
The majority of the listings you find on our site, TheRentalGirl.com, are pet friendly. However, the majority of our landlords had no-pet policies before hiring us. We successfully convince the majority of our clients to consider pets. If we can do it, you can too. Just follow the tips we provide here and don’t give up.
“Top 10 Tips” is a series of helpful tips brought to you by the lovely real estate agents at The Rental Girl . The Rental Girl is a leasing agency with branches throughout Los Angeles. Each branch is operated by a unique agent who specializes in her area. All agents at The Rental Girl are California licensed Real Estate agents who specialize in helping renters and home buyers with all their real estate needs.