Renting, urban and suburban, is not always easy when you’re a pet owner. Landlords burned by irresponsible pet owners are often reluctant to rent to pet owners again. But there are things that prospective renters can do to ease the landlords mind. Applying for a rental is much like applying for a job. The landlord is assessing your character. Landlords also need to know about the character of your dog. Nancy Simmons Starrs, owner of Apartment Detectives in the Washington, DC area, advises her clients to provide a resume for their pet.
At your initial viewing, bring along your veterinary health record. Current vaccination status demonstrates to the owner that you are a responsible pet owner. Proof of sexual neutering will calm concerns about behavior and sanitation often associated with sexually intact pets. It also shows that your pet is does not represent a health threat to the community.
In addition to your own personal references, bring references for your pet. Reference letters from veterinarians, trainers, pet-sitters or friends that have spent time with your pet can provide the landlord with an insight into your pet’s suitability as a tenant. Reference from previous landlords can be very persuasive. Hopefully they will include the information about the behavior of your pet at the previous rental. Most important is to include the condition of the rental when you departed. Costly repairs to property damage are a landlord’s greatest nightmare.
Provide your pet’s resume along with your own. Include a photograph. This will help establish an immediate bond with the landlord. Provide your pet’s age, proof of sterilization and breed. Highlight the breed and age characteristics that make your pet ideal for the rental property. Include information about your daily routines. Explain how your pet behaves or is cared for in your absence. Most importantly is to explain your exercise or “potty” routine and how you clean up after your pet.
~Dr Ken Tudor
THE DOG DIETITIAN