Unfortunately we hear far too often that the main reason that people are planning on getting rid of their pet is that life with them is so limited. Yes, it is limited, as it would be with many breeds of dogs, however we have amassed some lists that wil help you see that it is not hopeless to own a pit in a rental. There is also a number of friendly home owner insurance carriers.
Remember that every pit that is out in the world needs to be an ambassador for the breed. No matter how proud you are of your baby, please don’t bring them to locations where they will be stressed and perhaps show a side of the breed that we don’t really want out there.
Be sure to check the HOA and CC&R’s in your complex or neighborhood. Your real estate agent will be able to help you with this.
Stay away from larger rental communities with no pet policies – it is harder for them to make exceptions – try individual home and condominium owners.
Important information on finding pit friendly housing and interviewing with a potential landlord:
Give yourself enough time.
- If possible, start to check ads and contact real estate agents and rental agencies at least six weeks before you plan to move.
Make use of available resources.
- Find a realtor who will search for pet friendly apartments for you.
- Internet resources: Craigslist and Backpage are two great options as the majority of rentals are listed on these sites, and they list individual houses and townhomes/condos as well as apartments. Make sure you check the box “dog friendly” before searching.
- You can also place a housing wanted ad stating you’re looking for a rental that will accept pit bulls.
- Another small but great resource is www.petfriendlycommunities.com.
- Check local newspapers, coffee shop ads, ad recommendations from friends with pets.
Market yourself as a responsible pit bull owner. Spending some extra time preparing for an interview with your prospective landlord will make all the difference!
- Remember to stress that your dog is part of your family.
- Be professional and composed. Getting angry or frustrated will not help your cause, and may enforce any negative perceptions a landlord has about certain breeds and their owners.
- Offer to bring your dog to meet the owner or property manager, or invite the landlord to visit you and your dog in your current home. A freshly groomed, well-behaved pet will speak volumes. Emphasize that the same pride you take in caring for your pet extends to taking care of your home.
- Point out that your dog is housetrained and that you always clean up after him outdoors.
- Put together a “doggie resume” or short scrapbook with photos of your pampered pet in his current home. Scrapbooks and resumes are unique ideas that are guaranteed to make a strong, yet positive, impression. Make sure to include:
- The age of your dog, and any history with him (such as being with you through moves, major life changes, new babies, etc).
- Description of your dog’s personality traits and about you as a pet owner.
- Documentation that your dog is spayed/neutered, licensed, vaccinated against rabies, and up to date on veterinary care. Be sure to include your veterinarian’s name and phone number.
- If your dog has attended training classes, provide class certifications or proof of attendance.
- Get a letter of reference from your current landlord or condominium association, veterinarian, and neighbors verifying that you are a responsible pet owner.
- Many landlords are concerned about fleas, so be sure to let your prospective landlord know that you maintain an active flea-control program for your dog and home.
- Promote yourself. Responsible pet owners make excellent residents. Because they must search harder for a place to live, pet caregivers are more likely to stay.
Be prepared to negotiate
- Offer to pay a reasonable pet-damage deposit or secure liability insurance to cover the cost of any pet-related damage.
- Make sure you have renter’s insurance that covers pit bulls or pit mixes. The following insurance companies do not breed discriminate:
- Offer to accept a short term lease where your landlord can see if you and your dog are acceptable as long term tenants. Make sure you get in writing the terms of the short term lease and advance notification time requirements.
- Offer to negotiate an addendum to the lease that indicates what the landlord expects of you and your animal.
Make your request to the individual or group with the ultimate authority to grant your request. Usually this will be the owner of the house or apartment. The owner may, however, delegate the decision to a property manager or resident manager.
Get it in writing. Once you have been given permission by a landlord, manager, or condominium committee to have a pet, be sure to get it in writing.
Be honest. Don’t try to sneak your pet in. Keeping an animal in violation of a no-pets rule contributes to the general inclination of landlords not to allow pets. You also may be subject to possible eviction or other legal action.
Helpful links. Note: The majority of information above has been extracted and summarized from these sites.
Sometimes the greatest challenge to owning a pit bull is where to live. Unfortunately too many landlords (including our own government on military bases) believe that a ban on the breed is the appropriate way to handle their own ignorance about the breed. All too often the calls we receive are from loving owners who feel that there simply is no option but to surrender their pet in the face of decreased housing options.