Finding a pet friendly rental in North Jersey can seem overwhelming, especially in New Jersey’s already competitive apartment market. Here are a few tips to help you find your dream house or apartment and keep your pet at the same time.
Landlords don’t hate pets
The first thing you have to realize is that landlords do not hate animals or pets. Often the reason a landlord won’t accept pets is due to a problem with a past tenant who did not take care of their dog or cat. This makes them nervous about accepting pets in the future. Recognizing the landlord’s concern will help you make your case to him or her.
Wait before telling the landlord you own a pet
When you are making the initial contact don’t make the first words out of your mouth “I have a pet”. It puts the owner on the defensive and does not give you a chance to develop a good relationship with the owner. Wait until you’ve developed a comfortable dialogue. The landlord may like you so much they prefer you with a pet over past tenants they have had.
If possible have references from past owners. This can be very helpful if the owner is on the fence. Provide the landlord with numbers they can call to vouch for you as a quality tenant. Make sure you’ve let your past landlords know someone will be calling.
Always try to meet the landlord before telling them about the pet
It is very difficult to make a good impression over the phone. The landlord may have already talked to over 20 people. Their first screening process may be to rule out anyone with a pet. You can make more of a positive impact in person. Hold out mentioning your pet until you’re face to face.
Offer an additional pet security
Part of the reason that landlords don’t accept pets is that they are worried about additional expenses they will have to pay once you and your pet move out. This can include replacing carpets, scratched walls and ruined landscaping. By offering an additional security deposit to cover pet damage, you help put the landlord’s concerns at ease.
Do not get down – it may seem impossible but there are a lot more pet friendly rentals then you think
Yes if you own a pet it may take longer for you to find a place. Your selection is limited to those owners who are willing to negotiate or who already accept pets. You may visit a few apartments that are great, only to find out the landlord won’t budget on the pet issue. But you can’t get discouraged. There are tons of pet friendly rentals. Just make sure you add an extra week or two to your apartments search.