Adopting a pet can really bring joy to your life. However, having a pet narrows your choices when renting. This makes finding your new home a bit more challenging. You may see some single-family rental properties in Exeter that you’d think would be perfect for a furry family member. However, landlords and/or property owners may not be delighted by the plan to have animals on their property.
There are plentiful stories about irresponsible tenants and the fault of these give the otherwise responsible pet-owning tenants a bad reputation. This is a case of the fault of the few affecting everyone. With the difficulty you may face to have pets in rental homes, you may want to reconsider your decision to adopt— or at least take a few things under consideration. Honestly answering these seven questions will give you a fuller sense of how adopting a pet will change your life.
1. Does your landlord and/or lease allow pets? If so, what are the restrictions?
As a tenant, the first question you need to ask is whether or not pets are allowed at home. You have to know the answer before deciding to adopt a pet. There are a lot of landlords who are open to allowing pets but there are also those who have strictly banned all animals from the premises. Go through your lease again; most leases will clearly state which way your particular landlord leans. If your lease allows pets, be sure to read it carefully. There may be restrictions on animal type, size, breed, etc. You may also need to verify with local regulations for rules about keeping animals in your particular neighborhood. If you still have doubts, ask to have them clarified. Because the penalties can be quite heavy if you get caught with an unauthorized pet.
2. Do you or anyone living in your rental home have allergies?
There are millions of pet owners who discover after adopting that they are allergic to their own pets. The AAAAI (American Academy of Allergy Asthma, and Immunology) reports that pet dander, saliva, and urine can all trigger allergic reactions and even aggravate asthma symptoms. If a person living in your rental home has allergies or other respiratory issues, adding a pet to your family may seriously impact their health. Then you’d need to get specialized treatment for your symptoms which can increase the financial burden of pet ownership.
3. Do you have a yard or enough space for a pet?
Pets need space to play, explore, and live their lives. This goes regardless of size. Your pet may be very small or very large. Before adopting a pet, find out if the rental home can be adjusted to provide enough space so your pet can have a healthy life with lots of room to run around in. For instance, dogs need access to a safe, secure yard (or another assigned area) to do their business. Generally speaking, the bigger the pet, the more space you’ll need.
4. Are you home enough to care for it?
We usually like thinking of the good things we can get from adopting a pet, and we don’t focus on the responsibilities of having one. If your job or other commitments require you to stay out of the house for long hours or demand that you travel a lot, adopting a pet may not be a good idea. If pets are left alone too much and don’t get the constant care and attention they require, they can begin to develop unhealthy and destructive habits. A bored or anxious animal can destroy furniture, bedding, and other household items, and dogs may become a nuisance by barking excessively. The only way to reverse this is to spend time interacting with your pet, encouraging them to connect with you mentally and physically.
5. Do you have a backup plan for when life gets busy?
Traveling after adopting a pet can be quite a challenge. If you plan a trip away from home for a few days, you cannot just leave your pet alone. You’ll need to prepare a backup plan for animal care. There aren’t many places that would welcome animals. Besides, traveling with your pet can scare them and make them anxious. So, in the event of an emergency, you have to be prepared to call for help. You can have a friend or family member be the backup care for your pet, or if those options aren’t good for you, hire a pet care service.
6. Are you financially ready for a pet?
The cost of owning a pet doesn’t end with the adoption fees. Some animals, especially those with long fur, need routine grooming. And virtually all pets require regular medical attention. You’ll need to prepare yourself in case your animal gets sick or is injured. You’ll need to save the funds to pay for emergency medical care which can easily run into thousands of dollars for just one incident. There is another financial aspect to owning a pet, and it linked directly to your status as a tenant. Many landlords charge additional fees and/or higher rent for tenants who want to keep a pet on the property. But these extra costs don’t even take to account the potential property damage your pet might cause. You may have to pay for these damages out of your pocket. This is why you have to be financially ready to adopt a pet. You’ll be putting yourself in trouble if you don’t think this through, financially speaking.
7. Are you prepared to care for your pet for the next 5 to 10 years (or more)?
A lot of pets live long and healthy lives. This means that pet owners who rent should see to it that they are in a position to handle a pet for the next 5 to 10 years or even longer. Take a moment to think about your future and what you plan to do, then think about how a pet may change those plans. This can better inform you if taking in a pet is the right decision.
If you’ve answered the seven questions and are ready to go and adopt a pet, there’s still one last thing you need to do. Communicate with your landlord or Exeter property manager so they can adjust the terms of your lease to accommodate your new pet.
Are you interested in renting a home from Real Property Management Seacoast New Hampshire? We have a lot of rental properties that allow pets. Browse our rental listings and give us a ring at 603-343-2202 to schedule a showing.
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.