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Tips on getting permission to own a pet in a rental

Pet ownership in a rental property has always been a point of contention for city dwellers. Most rental agreements will have strict ‘no pets’ policies, particularly in apartment blocks where living spaces can be confined, and noise can easily travel.

The concern by landlords that pets may cause additional and unnecessary damage, over and above what is considered normal ‘wear and tear’ is warranted. However, not all pets cause issues and not all owners should be tarred with the same brush.

Pet ownership in a rental is not impossible, here are few tips to get your landlord on board:

Do your homework

Read your contract, and ask all of the relevant questions before signing:

-       Is there a no pets policy in the strata agreement? If so, you might have a tougher job on your hands to convince them.

-       Is the policy a standard requirement of the real estate or landlord? If so, you can open up the conversation directly.

Prepare a pooch elevator pitch 
The real estate and/or landlord doesn’t know your pooch like you do, so create a one pager to introduce your pet. Include details like:

-       Name and breed

-       Temperament

-       Age

-       Any training they have undertaken

In your pitch, you should also address your landlords concerns in terms of damage to property and possible disturbances to neighbours. Reassure your landlord that you will pay for any damages, offer to have the carpets professionally cleaned every quarter, as well as an industrial deep clean upon vacating. These can all be written into your contract for added reassurance.

Make an offer

Just like you pay a bond upfront as security against damages, offer to pay additional bond for a pet or extra rent if you can afford it. If your landlord agrees, be sure to get your agreement in writing.

Be flexible
If you’re considering getting a dog, be flexible with what type of breed the landlord is comfortable with. Some landlords may allow smaller breeds only. If you have your heart set on a certain breed, this can be difficult but having a dog vs no dog at all is always better! And remember whilst greyhounds are a larger breed of dog they are couch potatoes so are well suited to apartment living and this is definitely worth mentioning when negotiating.

Finally, dog ownership is a long term commitment and should not be done on a whim. Be sure that you can provide a home for your pet wherever you choose to live, before buying or adopting.