Renting With Pets: Everything You Need To Know

Latest update: June 08, 2022

Searching for a home to rent in Canada can be a long and difficult process. The search can be made even more complicated if you have pets. Although many landlords will allow you to have fish, frogs, or turtles, they may be more hesitant to allow a furry friend like cats or dogs. If you’re looking for pet friendly properties to rent this guide will tell you everything you need to know about renting housing with pets. 

Check For Pet-Friendly Apartments 

In your search for housing for rent online, look for more listings that are specified as pet friendly rentals in canada's largest city. Many landlords advertise pet friendly apartments or houses, especially in a big city. Search for rentals near within walking distance to a pet store, and those with a balcony and air conditioning. You’ll want to find a property that is in a location where you can walk your pet. Pet friendly units will make you and your companion’s life much easier and stress-free. 

Check Pet Policies

Pet policies are provisions within a lease that dictate the rules around pets for the tenants and the building by laws. They can include types of animals allowed, weight restrictions, breed restrictions, number of animals allowed, deposits or monthly rent increases and depend on the property type. Many buildings have these policies as well. As a pet parent, it’s important to review the policies before signing a lease agreement. 

Provide References

A landlord may be more open to the idea of allowing an animal in their rental unit if they hear a positive reference from a previous landlord. A reference can help convince the landlord or property manager that your animal won’t be an issue in the community, neighborhood or cause any damage to the apartment unit. This can help you in your search of the next place you will live and to secure affordable housing.

A Resume May Help Renting With Pets

A resume includes all of the information about your pet that a landlord will need to know. When you’re looking for apartments for rent, a resume may help. This includes proof of spaying or neutering, proof of vaccinations, and obedience or training school. You can attach the resume to your references to help make a stronger case for you and help you find an apartment.

Pet Deposit, Pet Rent or Additional Fees

Landlords may sometimes ask tenants to pay pet deposits, pet rent or an extra charge if you pay extra. You are more likely to be asked for these if the house is furnished and if you have a dog or a cat. These are both very different payments and can increase the price of your average rent. A deposit is part of your security deposit and can be returned at the end of your lease if there are no damages. A fee is a non-refundable charge that are held by the landlord in case of any damages or costs your animal may cause. 

Renter’s Insurance

Depending on your landlord and location, they may require you to buy renter’s insurance even if their house listing is a pet friendly apartment and is a short term listing. Renter’s insurance provides financial protection against any damage your pet may cause to the property. You also can be protected in the event that your pet injures someone, particularly if you have a dog. The insurance will keep both you and the landlord protected against any of these events. If your landlord has agreed to allow you to rent their unit with a pet, make sure to get the agreement in writing. Since a lease is a contract that cannot be changed unless you and the landlord both agree, this will protect you from any potential issues with renting with a pet. 

Ensure Your Pet is Well-Behaved

If your landlord agrees to allow you to rent the apartment and sign the lease make sure to be respectful and keep you pet behaved and abiding by the building’s rules. Ensure your pet doesn’t damage any of the bedrooms, isn’t too loud and doesn’t disturb the neighbourhood, especially if you live downtown in the city. Your neighbours, other neighbourhoods in apartments and nearby families will appreciate the peace and quiet. This will also open up the potential opportunity for a positive pet reference letter in the future.

Final Thoughts

For many, pets are like family and give unconditional love to their owners. As a petowner, you want to know that your companion can freely live with you in a safe and suitable house. Although renting with an animal may make finding an apartment more difficult, the perfect apartment will make both you and your pet feel right at home.

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