Renting With a Dog: House Hunting Tips

Bringing a puppy home or adopting a large dog does not need to be a dream deferred until home ownership.  While renters find it more difficult to find a home that will accept a dog for a temporary lease, it is not impossible.  Here are a few strategies to keep in mind to help you find the perfect place when renting with a dog.

Single-Family Rentals


A large building with many tenants may not be a great candidate for dog owners.  Landlords that have to continuously clean multiple units when vacated are not likely to want to introduce an additional potential cleaning expense such as vacuuming excessive dog hair or removing a pet smell.

The more neighbors living at a particular location, the likelihood of increased complaints.  Look instead for a single house, or a complex where homes or units remain separated from one another.  These types of rental units are most likely to allow pets, especially dogs.

Have All Papers Ready

Even in a case where the property allows pets, it is critical to have the dog’s paperwork in order.  This includes records of up to date vaccinations, health records, and perhaps a graduate certificate from an obedience school.  Try contacting any previous landlords who will provide a letter of reference.  Offering these types of positive records demonstrate responsibility and may ease the concerns of a potential property manager.

Offer a Security Fee

One of the biggest concerns for a property management team is the possibility of financial damages.  Dogs can admittedly be destructive, even the well-behaved ones.  Carpets wear out, hair collects in the vents, and a pet smell can last a long time.  All of these pet related costs can add up quickly – especially if the room or building is furnished.  Find out if the landlord accepts a security deposit specifically for pets.  This good-faith gesture may change their mind if they are on the fence concerning a pet.

Get Everything in Writing

If a dog is permitted into a space that is not normally open to animals, be sure to get the agreement in writing.  The landlord knows the agreement made, but if they are bending the rules, they can change their minds and there is no policy to stop them.

A new owner may come in and try to overrule them, or a new manager could replace them.  It is not rude or unreasonable to ask for a written contract at this stage.  Be sure to have all agreements in writing to avoid potential heartache later.

Solid Renters’ Insurance

A final way to prepare for life as a dog owner in a rented space is to take out quality renters’ insurance.  This is not only a way to soothe the conscience of the property management team but provide peace of mind to the dog owner as well.  If something goes wrong, and there is an unfortunate accident involving a pet, then a well-covered renters’ insurance policy offered by Moody can take the worry out of pet ownership.

 About Moody Insurance Worldwide

Moody Insurance Worldwide, a division of Moody & Associates that was founded in 1914, is a leading provider of risk management programs and insurance coverage to individuals and businesses across the East Coast. We write all sizes of businesses, with technical expertise in many key industry areas, and provide personal insurance programs for estates and high net worth individuals. Our licensed, experienced commercial account managers can work with you to determine the coverage that you need at a competitive rate. Contact us today at (855) 868-0170 to learn more about what we can do for you.