Shopping for a place to live in Harlem can be a challenge in and of itself, but finding the right locale becomes even harder when you’re renting with a pet. Having a furry friend by your side won’t make the house hunt impossible, but it may limit your options some.
To end up at the best spot possible where you and your pup can live comfortably and safely, follow these seven tips below as you begin your search. Start at the top and work your way down to expand your options and find your perfect new home.
1. Increase your options with an ESA letter.
You may find that your options are limited when you’re house-hunting as a person and their pet. But what if Fido wasn’t your pet, but rather your emotional support animal? The laws surrounding pets and emotional support animals are different, and under the Americans with Disabilities Act, your landlord may be limited in what their restrictions can be.
Getting a doctor note for your emotional support animal is easy and will open up new doors that you may have thought were unavailable to you with your pet. Plus, it can save you pet rent and pet deposit fees – win-win!
2. Look for a pet-friendly layout.
Ideally, your home should work for both you and your pet. For example, if you have a big, heavy dog, a home with original hardwood floorings may be asking for damage. If you’re rooming with a small cat or dog and a place you’re touring has three flights of stairs, that may indicate a problem down the road as your animal gets older.
3. Consider neighborhood traffic.
If your neighborhood sees heavy traffic, it could be dangerous to walk your dog every day. The ideal street would be quiet with some green space nearby so your dog can relieve itself peacefully. While this might not always be feasible, just look for neighborhood traffic that feels manageable and safe. Wherever you decide to live, make sure your dog is always wearing a reliable dog collar with up-to-date contact information.
4. Look closely for HOA rules.
HOA or community association rules may limit what kind of dog you can have and may impose restrictions and fines on things like not picking up the dog’s droppings. It’s best to know these things ahead of time, and not be surprised with a set of rules after moving in.
5. Research the home’s pet history.
Has the home had another pet live in it before? Ask the landlord about who lived there before and if there was any previous pet damage. You don’t want to get blamed for something that happened from the tenants before you. You also don’t want your dog to find a spot of carpet where previous animals have peed and feel the need to mark their territory.
6. Flock to other animal lovers.
When in doubt, you’re bound to have a better living experience somewhere you’re surrounded by other animal lovers. If your landlord has a pet or loves dogs or cats, that’s a bonus. Not sure how they feel about your pet in particular? Refer to the last step below to seal the deal.
7. Let your landlord meet your pet.
Most of the time, people can’t resist a sweet, loving pup or a precious kitty. If your landlord is comfortable with it, let your pet meet the landlord one on one. You could even give your landlord some treats to create a bond between your pet and the new landlord. If they have a good relationship, you’ll likely have a much better experience there living with your pet.
Home Is Better With a Pet
Finding a new home is exciting, but finding a new home where you and your pet can live together is even better. Find your perfect new place with your dog or cat by following the tips above. Happy house hunting!