Not all of us have the luxury of buying a home outright. In fact, if you’re under the age of 35, you’re more likely to be renting than paying off a mortgage.

Rentals can be great, and they’re perfect for singles or young couples, but if you’ve got a dog, you might run into trouble. Not every landlord allows animals in the home and some contracts stipulate this as a formality.

Still, life is all about perseverance, so just because the contract says one thing, you’re absolutely within your right to try and convince the landlord otherwise.

Tip 1. Bring up the issue in writing

First things first: your landlord might not have studied the contract for a good few years and they might not even remember that they’ve inserted a no-animal clause. Ask them in writing whether this still stands, because they might be willing to reconsider right then and there. However, if they hold firm, you’ll need to take a different tack…

…Tip 2. Offer to establish a separate Pet Agreement

A Pet Agreement is designed to assuage the landlord and let them know that your doggo will be supervised; that you, the resident, will cover any damage caused by your animal; that you’ll ensure your dog doesn’t make an excessive amount of noise; that, in exceptional circumstances, a third-party can decide whether the dog needs boarding.

Signing a Pet Agreement is an act of good faith on your part, and it clearly demonstrates your commitment to keeping all parties happy. Any reasonable landlord will appreciate the gesture and probably acquiesce. However, it might help to…

…Tip 3.  Create a pet resume

A pet resume shows off how well-trained, cuddly and lovable your dog is! You can see an example of one on the Earth Rated site. Use a lovely photo of your doggo, include major qualifications (i.e., she’s potty-trained, insured, vaccinated, etc) as well as some personal characteristics (great around kids, for instance). Most landlords will melt at the photo alone, and you might consider writing the bio from the perspective of your animal. It’ll raise a smile and reiterate the fact that your doggo is a living, breathing creature that deserves a nice home.

Tip 4. Use references

If you’ve used a daycare or boarding company in the past, consider reaching out to this firm and asking for a reference. You basically want a third-party to sing the praises of your animal and put a landlord’s fears to bed. If you haven’t used a daycare firm, but you have enlisted the services of a professional dog trainer, they’d be able to vouch for your animal too. The same goes for a veterinary professional. Ultimately, it always helps to have a reputable third-party on your side.

Our advice is to try and use tips 2, 3 and 4 in one piece of correspondence. That way you’re not going back and forth over the issue.

In the end, moving is a stressful business, made even worse when you’re not sure you can bring your animal along. Appeal to your landlord’s better nature and use the tips above. If all else fails, look for a rental – and landlord – who is more accommodating. 

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