Negotiate your way into a pet-friendly apartment

Peggy Abkemeier-Alford, president of the No. 1 Internet listing site within the rental market ( shares a few tips on how to negotiate your way into a pet-friendly apartment. Her five tips are: a recommendation from an existing landlord that your pet behaves well; a certified letter showing your pet is up to date on vaccines; written proof of obedience training; pet-damage rental insurance; and bring your pet along for the consultation.

How did you formulate these tips?

I developed these tips based on my own experience working with property owners and landlords across the country. The main thing to keep in mind is to try and put yourself in your landlord’s shoes. There might be a reason for why a landlord or property owner is reluctant to allow pets, and understanding his/her reasoning will help you to negotiate in the long run.

What concerns landlords most about pets?

Landlords are typically concerned with property damage and noise. If a pet destroys carpeting or chews furniture because it isn’t trained properly, the landlord will have to dedicate more time and money to renovating the unit once the tenant moves out. Similarly, if a tenant moves in with a noisy dog and disrupts the living environment for others, the landlord could potentially lose tenants.

Is this advice limited to cat and dog owners?

Although cats and dogs are typically the most common pets, these negotiating tips can apply to other species as well. For example, if a tenant has a pet ferret, guinea pig or rabbit, these smaller pets should also be cleared with the landlord or property owner before the renter signs a lease and moves in. It’s never a good idea to sneak a pet into a rental property, so make sure that you’re honest and that you mention the pet upfront.


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