New Pad, Same Pet? Make Everyone Happy (Including You)!

If you want to be worthy of the love of man’s (or woman’s) best friend, you’ll want to consider your dog’s needs as you tour apartments.

And cat owners–you’re not off the hook. Even though cats are lower maintenance, we all know that they—deservedly—expect to be treated like royalty.

So, the pressure’s on! You’ve got to find a place that fits your budget, yet makes both you and your beloved roommate happy. But how can you be sure you’re asking the right questions about costs and amenities?

Read on for advice!

  • Real talk: many rentals and property management companies require a pet deposit for any animal who bunks in the building. This tends to run between $350-500.

    That number seems high, but it covers wear and tear that a pet may cause—damage to the carpets when there are “accidents,” scratches to the floors or doors, and any additional landscaping due to their bathroom breaks. (We’re sure you can arrange for them to pay you back in cuddles.)

    Definitely factor this cost into your moving budget so you can pay it with your security deposit and first month’s rent. FYI, your pet deposit is usually refundable upon move-out, so you should get it back as long as Princess or Fido minds their manners.
  • Pet rent is an additional monthly cost that you pay as long as your pet lives in the property with you. It’s usually in addition to a deposit and it’s a relatively small amount (between $25-50 a month) but you will want to factor it into your monthly costs. You never want to lie to avoid this fee, since it’s almost inevitable that you will be caught by a super or another employee.
  • Be aware that there are also breed and size restrictions for dogs at many properties. You love your pet to pieces, but they may not be allowed in certain buildings if they are over a certain size or on a list of forbidden breeds. Just remember to add it to the moving checklist to bring up prior to signing your lease.

So those are the (pretty reasonable) costs of renting with pets. Now, onto the perks!

  • Many buildings now will come with pet amenities like designated doggie areas, which are spots inside the complex (or sometimes even on the roof!) so you don’t have to walk your dog on the street late at night. That can give you extra peace of mind as you both wind down for the night.
  • If you live on the first floor, a common perk is having a little patio area with turf for your doggo to get a little outside access without a walk. Perfect if you don’t want to change out of your PJs on a Saturday morning!
  • Other buildings may even have an actual fenced-in dog park on the premises, complete with dog-friendly grass, plantings, and the most useful thing of all—free doggie bags. These types of communal areas can also be useful for meeting other dog “parents.” While they get their exercise, you can get some friend time in, all without leaving the comforts of home.
  • Pet spas are another popular option emerging from some management companies. These shared resources let you wash and dry your animals in a place other than your tub, keeping the pet hair situation in your place under control.
  • We’ve even heard of holy grail buildings where the management goes above and beyond, providing extras through a “doggie vending machine,” complete with treats, toys, and shampoo. If you hate going to buy pet supplies, then this might be something you want to add to the wish list alongside that icemaker in the fridge for you. Why should you be the only one living the high life?

To help keep this all straight, you can download our checklist “How to Simplify Your Move” and add your priority perks into your apartment search. After all, you know that your new place won’t be perf