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How to Find Pet-Friendly Rentals for You and Your Pet

Most people consider their pets family and wouldn’t move anywhere without them. However, finding pet-friendly rentals, especially at an affordable rate, can be challenging. As such, it’s important to narrow your search and look for rental homes suitable for you and your pet. Read along as we go over how to find pet-friendly rentals and what to expect while renting with your furry friend. 


Contents of This Article: 

Why Is It Hard to Find Pet-Friendly Rentals?

Finding rental housing for you and your pet can be pretty tricky. After all, not all landlords allow pets. Or if they do allow pets, you have to pay extra fees, deposits, or pet rent for them to live with you. Unfortunately, this can be a major inconvenience for some renters. So, why are so many landlords reluctant to allow pets in their rental homes? 

Many landlords hesitate to rent to tenants with pets due to the risk of noise complaints, allergens, odors, or property damage. While it generally depends on the type of pet and rental home, you’ll want to navigate a positive conversation with your landlord about living with your pet. 

If you’re curious about how to approach landlords or property management companies in Philadelphia about living with your pet, just keep reading. This article will review how to find pet-friendly rentals and the differences between service animals, emotional support animals, and pet-friendly rentals. 

How to Find Pet-Friendly Rentals

As most pet-loving tenants know, finding pet-friendly rentals is generally challenging. So, how can you find a rental home that will accept your loyal companion? Here are a few tips to follow if you plan on moving with your pet

Base Your Search on Pet-Friendly Rentals


While it seems obvious, you’ll want to focus your search for housing on pet-friendly rentals. After all, you might not have many pet-friendly options depending on where you’re looking. However, there’s an easy way to narrow your search. 

When you search for rental housing, use specific keywords like “pet-friendly rentals” or “rentals that allow pets”. Additionally, you can use filters to specifically search for “pet-friendly rentals” on a site that lists several available units. That way, you don’t have to waste your time going through each listing to see if they allow pets or not. 

Be Honest About Living With a Pet

If you’re looking at rentals and they don’t specify whether they’re pet-friendly or not, you’ll want to ask the landlord or property manager. While you may be tempted to move in without disclosing a pet or potential pet, honesty is always the best policy. 

Unfortunately, if you move in without disclosing that you have a pet, you could face fines or eviction. So, to avoid any adverse consequences, talk to your landlord before moving in to see if the rental home is pet-friendly or if you can do anything to make them feel more comfortable with a pet living there. 

Make a Pet Resume


Just as you’d create a resume for yourself when applying for a job, creating a resume for your pet is an excellent idea if you want to live with them in a rental. On your pet resume, you should include references from previous landlords, obedience trainers, or pet-sitters that have worked with your pet. 

Additionally, you can include their medical history and more information about their breed, size, temperament, and other certifications they may have. While it’s not always necessary, the more information the landlord has about your pet, the better. 

Introduce Your Pet Before Moving In

If your landlord is hesitant to allow pets in their rental home, suggest introducing your pet to them beforehand. This can ease stress or worries about your pet being too noisy or unfriendly to other renters nearby. After all, landlords with pet-friendly rentals may have increased liability for injuries to other tenants from a pet.  

Just as your landlord or property manager wants to meet you in person before moving in, it makes sense that they’ll want to meet your pet, too. That way, they know what your pet looks like and how they behave if they must enter the property for an emergency, scheduled maintenance, etc. 

Offer a Pet Deposit or Pet Rent

Some rentals require pet deposits, pet fees, or pet rent, while others don’t. Either way, if your landlord hesitates to accept you and your pet as tenants, you could offer up a pet deposit or additional fee to ease some of their worries. 

After all, landlords are generally hesitant to allow pets since they can be noisy, messy, or cause damage to the property. However, offering an extra deposit to cover any potential expenses may give them more peace of mind. 

What to Expect for Pet Fees, Deposits, or Rent

If you’re moving with your pet, you can generally expect to pay a pet fee, pet deposit, or even pet rent. While they all seem like similar terms and have similar meanings, they differ just a little bit. So here’s what to expect for each of these terms. 


pet fee is a non-refundable one-time payment that a tenant pays a landlord to cover potential damages to a rental. Pet fees generally range from $200 to $500, similar to a pet deposit, aside from the fact that they’re not refundable. 

On the other hand, a pet deposit is a one-time payment made to a landlord to cover any damages caused by a pet. When your lease ends, the landlord or property manager must return your pet deposit. Pet deposits are similar to security deposits but are two separate payments to your landlord. As such, just like your security deposit, they can keep some or all of the payment if there are any pet-related damages to the rental property. 

Finally, pet rent differs from fees or deposits because it’s a recurring charge, similar to regular monthly rent payments. Depending on where you live and whom you rent from, some landlords or property managers may charge additional pet rent to cover the costs of allowing pets on the property. 

Generally, pet rent costs range from 1% to 3% of the monthly rent. If you usually pay $1,500 monthly for rent, you could pay an additional $15 to $45 per month to cover pet rent. However, most pet fees, deposits, and rent charges depend on your pet’s type and size and how many you have living in the rental with you. 

What About Service Dogs or Emotional Support Animals?

Your search for rental housing may differ if you have a service or emotional support animal. However, remember that service animals and emotional support animals are different. 


Service animals are trained specifically for an owner’s disabilities. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), individuals with disabilities can bring service animals anywhere. Since service animals are not “pets”, landlords cannot deny a prospective tenant due to a no-pet policy. 

On the other hand, Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) are not specifically trained to alleviate stress or specific disabilities. Instead, they provide therapeutic companionship to individuals with mental health conditions. To have an animal recognized as an ESA, you must get a letter signed by a licensed mental health professional. Again, since ESAs are not considered pets, landlords cannot deny prospective tenants or charge them pet fees, deposits, or rent based on their pet policies. 

Find a Pet-Friendly Rental Property Near You

Finding comfortable and safe pet-friendly rentals can be challenging. However, the right research and conversations with your landlord can increase your chances of finding the perfect home. That said, if you’re looking for a high-quality rental property with top-notch management services, look no further than Bay Property Management Group. 

Contact a BMG Property Manager Today to Learn More!

Search our current listings for a pet-friendly rental, and apply today! Or, if you need help managing your rental homes, our dedicated property managers can ensure your rentals are taken care of 24/7. Check out our list of comprehensive management services to see how we can help you today.