Here are some tips to consider if your landlord doesn't usually allow pets.

So you've found the perfect apartment at a fabulous price in the neighborhood you love, and you and Fluffy are all set to move in. But there's only one problem: The landlord doesn't allow pets. Or, maybe you've been ogling over the dogs of passersby for months now and you finally decide that your life simply won't be complete without a pooch. But, again, just one small issue: Your current building is not pet-friendly.

It can be frustrating to turn down the perfect place or to be unable to adopt a pet once you're ready, especially when so many are in need of homes. But there are a few things you can do to try to change your landlord's mind. Here are some tips:

Buy insurance
Assure your landlord that you will purchase (or, even better, already have purchased) renters insurance. It might cost only around $100 per year, but could be more expensive depending on where you live. Make sure to buy a policy that covers pet damages as well.

Pay a deposit or fee
Propose to your landlord or management company that you'll pay a pet deposit, a one-time fee or even a monthly fee. Start with a deposit – which is the cheapest option for you as you'll get it back provided your pet doesn't damage the place – and if that isn't enticing enough, offer to pay a one-time fee or monthly fee, depending on the landlord's preferences.

Market yourself and your pet
If you already have a pet, explain her good qualities and why your pet's presence will not disturb your neighbors. It's important to be honest though. Don't tell the landlord your dog never barks if, in fact, she barks every time a person passes in front of the window outside. In this situation, say you'll mitigate the chance of barking by keeping the blinds closed while you're gone during the day, or sending your dog to doggie daycare. If your dog has taken obedience classes, tell the landlord about these.

Situations in your favor
Here are some ways that you might be more likely to convince your landlord to let you have a pet:

  • You already live in the building and have established a relationship with your landlord as a good tenant who pays his or her rent on time.
  • The vacancy rate is very high in your city and landlords are more willing to negotiate.
  • You have a smaller, less obtrusive animal.

Situations not in your favor

  • The vacancy rate is very low in your city and thus the landlord sees no reason to negotiate and change his or her policy.
  • You live or are moving into a large apartment building that is managed by a company, rather than an individual landlord. They're less likely to change their policy as they'd have to change it for everyone.
  • You have an "aggressive" dog breed like a pitbull or German Shepherd. While it's clear to most people that the breed does not make a dog aggressive, many management companies have the prohibition of certain breeds written into their policies.

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