You’ve searched uptown, downtown, crosstown, around town, and you’ve finally found your ideal apartment in the city. You’re sitting down to sign the lease and get your keys, but a clause in the lease catches you off-guard: No pets allowed.

Although millions of Americans are pet owners, many landlords are hesitant to rent to someone who owns animals. Landlords can evict a tenant who gets a pet in violation of their lease agreement. Luckily, has a few tips to negotiate a lease for a pet-friendly pad.

Negotiating a Lease That’s Pet Friendly:

  1. Do a dog-to-face interview. Set up a dog-to-face meeting. Allow for basic obedience tests and inspections. Let the landlord see firsthand how well-mannered your pet is. If the meeting goes well, the landlord may be more willing to bend a few rules in order to rent you and your dog a space.
  2. Show proof of renters insurance. Reassure the landlord of your good intentions of caring for his property by giving him proof of renters insurance. Be sure the liability limits are high. Also, highlight the pet clause in it, so he can clearly see that you are covered for any damage caused by your dog.
  3. Give a letter of recommendation. Get a letter of recommendation from your prior landlord and neighbors. It should address the basic behavior of your dog while living in their community. Be sure it touches on subjects like “noise levels” and “overall friendliness.”
  4. Validate that your dog has his shots. Give the landlord a certificate verifying that your dog’s vaccinations are up-to-date. It will diffuse any fears he has about the overall health of your dog and safety of other tenants.
  5. Offer up an obedience-training certificate. Even if he doesn’t ask, show the landlord a certificate certifying that your dog has obedience training. This will assure him that you’ve gone the extra step to raise a well-behaved dog that won’t run wild on his property or keep the neighbors up at night.

If you are looking to move with pets, get started on with our dog-friendly or cat-friendly apartment search.