The Ultimate Guide to Renting with Pets

Every pet owner knows the wonderful joys (and sometimes frustrations) of owning a pet. Whether you’re flying solo or planning to share your space with roommates, renting with pets comes with a whole host of challenges you need to be prepared for.

Luckily, we’ve got you covered. This guide is your go-to resource for renting with your furry friend.

The Ultimate Guide to Renting with Pets

1. Understanding Pet Policies and Restrictions

Before you even start hunting for the right apartment, there are a few things you need to understand. Unfortunately, not all rentals are pet-friendly.

Start by researching the pet policies of different properties. Some landlords and property management companies may not allow pets at all. Some might let you have pets, but they may have specific rules regarding pet size, breed, and the number of animals allowed. Some landlords may even require additional pet deposits or monthly pet rent to cover any potential damages caused by the pets.

2. Finding the Right Place

So much goes into finding the perfect place for you and your pet, especially if you’re a city dweller. This is where resources such as SpareRoom (a roommate-matching website) are invaluable. With detailed listings and a wide range of filtering options, you can easily find pet-friendly rentals. You can filter by location, rent, and bedroom size and even exclude certain places that won’t consider pets.

This way, you’ll only view listings that meet your (and your pet’s) needs, helping you streamline the whole process of finding a new home.

3. Creating a Pet Resume

That’s right – a pet resume! This might sound unusual, but a pet resume can be a game-changer, especially when you’re looking to live with roommates.

Make sure to include your pet’s breed, size, temperament, and any training they’ve received. Get bonus points for including any funny stories you can think of! Highlighting your pet’s best qualities can reassure potential landlords and roommates who might be apprehensive about welcoming an animal into their home. Not to mention, it also makes you look like a responsible pet owner.

4. Setting Clear Expectations

Setting Clear Expectations

If you’re planning to live with roommates, it’s so important to encourage open communication about your pet. As mentioned above, use platforms like SpareRoom to find roommates who are comfortable and happy to live with pets. Then, discuss responsibilities, boundaries (such as off-limits areas), and how you plan to handle any pet-related expenses. If an emergency vet bill comes up, can you reassure your roommates that you’ll still be able to cover your part of the rent?

Remember, not everyone is a pet person, so mutual respect and understanding are key to living in harmony with both two-legged and four-legged friends.

5. Pet-Proofing Your Rental

Once you’ve secured a pet-friendly rental, it’s time to pet-proof it. Secure windows, balconies, and any other areas where your pet might get into trouble. Be mindful of houseplants and decorations that could be harmful to your furry friend.

6. Routine and Exercise

Maintaining a routine is vital, especially when it comes to dogs. Regular walks and exercise are not only essential for your pet’s health but also for keeping them happy and less destructive. If your schedule is tight, consider hiring a dog walker or using doggy daycare services to help get your dog the exercise they need.

If you have a cat, make sure to maintain a consistent feeding schedule.

7. Building a Good Relationship with Your Landlord and Neighbors

Having a good relationship with those around you can make your renting experience much more pleasant. If your landlord or neighbors come to you with any concerns, make sure to listen and address them as quickly as possible. Regular communication and showing that you are a responsible pet owner can go a long way.

8. Understand Your Rights and Responsibilities

Understand Your Rights and Responsibilities

It’s important to be aware of your rights and responsibilities as a pet-owning tenant. This includes understanding local laws about pet ownership, the terms of your lease regarding pets, and being responsible for any damage caused by your pet. Look into renter’s insurance, as you may be able to find one that covers pet-related incidents.

9. Emergency Preparedness

Any pet owner knows how unpredictable pets can be, so make sure to have a plan in place for emergencies. This includes knowing the location of the nearest vet, keeping a pet first aid kit on hand, and making a plan for your pet in case you need to leave your home unexpectedly.

10. Regular Upkeep and Cleaning

Maintaining cleanliness is crucial when you have pets. Regular grooming can reduce the amount of pet hair in your home, and cleaning up any accidents quickly will keep your space fresh and prevent damage to the property. Although this is important no matter where you live, it’s especially important to be mindful of mess when living with others.


Renting with pets can be a challenge, but it’s entirely possible to find a harmonious living situation for you and your furry companion. Resources like SpareRoom make the search for perfect pet-friendly rentals or roommates much easier. With careful planning, clear communication, and a bit of extra care, you and your pet can enjoy a happy and stress-free rental experience.

Remember, being a pet owner and a tenant means balancing your pet’s needs with the responsibilities of renting. Following our tips will help you create a pleasant living environment for everyone involved – furry friends included!

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