Having a dog in the city can be difficult (especially if you are renting an apartment). With many landlords putting weight limits, breed restrictions and installing “no pet” policies. Moving apartment can often seem like an impossible task.
However there are some things that you can do that will make it easier for a landlord to want to rent to you (and your pets)
1) Provide a resume and portfolio with pictures for each of your pets
This may sound ridiculous but sometimes a picture paints a thousand words. We all think our pups are the most gorgeous thing in the entire world but not everyone else agrees (shock horror). However sometimes a couple of pictures of your pup looking adorable (maybe doing a trick or two) can really help.
Your pups “resume” should include any professional training and training classes that you have attended, your pets age, vet details and history of previous apartments
2) Provide letters of recommendation
In my “pet portfolio” I have 12 letters of recommendation for my pets provided by pet professionals. Consider reaching out to your dog trainer, behaviorist, day care professional, dog walker, etc and ask them for a letter of recommendation describing how well mannered your pet is.
Also get letters of recommendation from ex landlords and neighbors proving that even on a professional level, your pets are well behaved and assets to the building. Key phrases like “no barking”, “clean”, “well mannered” are useful for these letters.
3) Train your dog
Sign your pup up for training classes where you can get a certificate of completion. Many dog trainers offer 4-6 week classes in basic obedience which can show to a potential landlord that your pup has a basic understanding of training and management. City Sit Stay is one of a few in NYC and London that offers the CGC and Kennel Club class that is nationally recognized. The Canine Good Citizen (CGC) or Kennel Club certification is becoming increasingly recognized by landlords as an indication of a well behaved dog.
4) Offer an extra security deposit
We have turned many a “non pet” building into a pet lovers paradise simply by offering an extra security deposit. I know it is annoying to have to provide extra money up front. However, you will be getting it back in full if your pet is as well behaved as you think it is.
5) Get a good broker on side
Make sure your broker understand how important your pets are to you and insist they only show you pet friendly homes. There is nothing worse than falling in love with an apartment your broker shows you and then only finding out afterwards that the landlord is allergic to pets and it therefore not pet friendly.