Are you a renter thinking about moving? Do you own a pit bull? As you can probably imagine, apartment hunting with a dog is a bit more difficult than apartment hunting without one. Many landlords don’t want to deal with the liabilities that come with renting to tenants with animals. This is especially true if that animal is a pit bull or bully breed dog. As pit bull owners are unfortunately well aware, bully breed-type dogs often face breed discrimination. As unfair as it may be (and as hard as we are trying to change the status quo!), it is likely something you, as a pit bull owner, will have to consider. Read on for our best tips on winning over those landlords and getting your fair choice of living quarters.
- Take your time. While many landlords are not dog-friendly, there are plenty that are. It just might take a bit longer to find them. If time permits, it is a good idea to plan ahead and be persistent in your search.
- Include a pet resume with your application. This can be especially helpful if you are attempting to sway a landlord who might not be normally willing to rent to tenants with dogs. It will show that you take pet ownership seriously and will directly address any concerns he/she may have.
- Also include letter(s) of recommendation. Along with your pet resume, consider attaching a couple of references from your current/past landlords, neighbors, groomers, and trainers who knew your dog, driving the point home that you are a responsible dog owner and your dog is properly trained and well-behaved.
- Meet and greet. If you are in a position to visit the landlord in person, it can be to your advantage to do so – with your dog, of course! It’s easier for landlords to decline dog owners over the phone or email, but harder if they meet you and your well-behaved dog in person. Be courteous and schedule an appointment first; dropping in unexpectedly will probably not be appreciated by most people! If you aren’t able to meet the landlord in person, be sure to include some high-quality photos of your dog with his/her pet resume.
- Offer an additional pet security deposit. Again, this will likely help ease the landlord’s mind over potential concerns and further catapult you into “ideal tenant” territory.
- Consider renter’s insurance. Be sure to buy a policy that covers your dog and make that clear in your application.
- Be honest. Don’t ever try to hide your dog or sign a lease that does not allow dogs. As cliche as it may sound, honesty is the best policy! You surely don’t want to risk being turned in by neighbors or found out by your landlord and potentially be evicted. It’s worth it to wait until you find a place that welcomes you and your pit bull.
- Hold up your end of the bargain. After all the campaigning you’ve done for you and your dog to be accepted as tenants, you must follow through and be an exceptionally responsible pet owner! Be respectful of your neighbors, pick up after your dog, keep him/her on a leash, etc. Doing so will set a positive example for those around you (serving as a breed ambassador) and you will hopefully be able to use your landlord as a reference for the next time you move.
We hope that you find these tips useful in your apartment search. If you think we missed anything important, please feel free to let us know in the comments!