It’s no surprise that the majority of U.S. households own a pet, but according to recent findings from an Apartments.com survey, 72% of renters are pet-owners! It’s easy to see why pet-friendliness is a fast growing requirement for renters looking for their next apartment! Owning a pet is often an important life choice that many families will adjust their housing requirements around and renting is no different. When choosing the perfect pet-friendly apartment in Harrisonburg for your family, here are 7 top tips to keep in mind:
- Pet-Rent & Pet Deposits
- Stairs Vs. Elevator
- Outdoor Access
- Access To Local Dog Parks
- Familiarize Yourself with Restrictions
- Non-Traditional or Exotic Pets
- Informing Your Landlord
Most apartment communities will require an additional Safety Deposit if you are bringing a pet. This is to cover additional damage concerns such as pet stains & odors. It’s important to ask about any additional pet fees before signing the lease, as being surprised with an additional deposit requirement may delay your move-in date! Pet rent is typically an additional $25-50 per month that should be considered when budgeting for your apartment. We covered Pet-Rent, as well as many other expenses in our recent blog post, Monthly Expenses to Expect as an Apartment Renter.
Those who have owned indoor dogs understand the importance of a convenient potty spot for your pooch! If your apartment is located on a high floor, access to a nearby elevator is a convenient amenity but can be hard to find. Apartments closest to elevators and those on lower floors may be more expensive because they are in the highest demand, or reserved for those with accessibility requirements. You may also wish to confirm your apartment community allows pets in the elevators, as some may not. Consider what is most important for your unique routines and preferences. Multiple flights of stairs may be a deal breaker for some, while others may enjoy it as their daily cardio!
It’s also important to weigh outdoor access when choosing your apartment. Balconies and porches can be great features to allow Fido to get fresh air and enjoy watching people and wild animals. But they can also be a dangerous temptation for your adventurous kitty-cat you’d rather not risk. Some first-level apartments have access to private yards which makes early morning potty times a bit easier to manage, but may cost more because of these features.
When choosing an apartment community, convenience to local parks is typically a vital requirement for dog owners. Regular exercise is especially important for indoor dogs. Being cooped up indoors or in their crate can lead to over-excited energy and destructive behaviors. When considering a pet-friendly apartment in Harrisonburg, research the dog-friendly parks nearby. Ask staff or residents if they have a resident dog park or if there is a place nearby they suggest.
Apartment communities commonly have restrictions on the number of pets, size/weight, and breed. Be sure to ask for a copy of their pet restrictions rules or guidelines during the leasing process.
Some common breed restrictions include:
- Pit Bulls
- German Shepards
You may be required to take or provide a DNA Breed Test for your dog. These breed restrictions are frequently due to insurance reasons and are typically customary in communities with professional property management. For those with restricted breeds, private landlords may be a more flexible option.
If you own something other than a cat, dog, or bird, the pet-friendly requirements you are looking for might be quite different. Some apartment communities have restrictions on the type of pets they allow, due to health & safety concerns, local restrictions, or concerns about damage to the property.
Some common non-traditional pets include:
- Reptiles (Snakes, Lizards, Geckos, etc)
- Hamsters/Guinea Pigs
- Arachnids (Spiders & Scorpions)
- As well as, rare examples such as Farm Animals or Exotic Cats.
The apartment communities you are looking at may have additional restrictions on these pets and it’s best to ask during a leasing process if they will allow your unique animal. You may need to negotiate a new pet rent or deposit for your pet, or provide relevant veterinary reports and vaccination records.
If you’re bringing a pet into your apartment, it is required you inform your landlord. While it may be tempting to quietly acquire a pet to avoid fees or restrictions, this can lead to eviction and a permanent stain on your rental record.
If you are acquiring a pet after moving in, contact your leasing office or landlord and fill out any required paperwork before bringing the pet home. Finding out your new pet falls under a restriction after already adopting them is an unfortunate occurrence that can be avoided by contacting your leasing office before starting the process of acquiring a new pet.
If you are looking for a Pet-Friendly Apartment in Harrisonburg, let Colonnades be your perfect fit! Located in downtown Harrisonburg, Colonnade Apartments is within walking distance of many local parks and offers spacious apartments perfect for you and your furry friend! Contact our leasing office today if you have questions about our pet policy.