Almost 90 percent of renters are pet owners, according to an Apartments.com survey of more than 1,000 renters around the country. Of the renters surveyed that do not currently own a pet, more than half plan to become pet owners within the next year.
About 30 percent of respondents said they seek an apartment in close proximity to pet amenities such as veterinary hospitals, dog parks and walking trails. More than 80 percent of respondents said a pet-friendly policy played a major role in where they choose to live.
While the majority of respondents experienced difficulty finding an apartment that allowed pets, 89 percent said they were not put in a position where they had to choose between their pet and a place to live.
For those who said they were forced to give up their pet, the two main causes were not being able to find an apartment with a pet-friendly policy (65 percent) or not being able to afford the pet deposit (27 percent). The survey found that more than half of renters paid more than $200 for a pet deposit. Almost 60 percent said they would be less likely to rent an apartment requiring a pet deposit.
Apartments.com, which had more than 11 million pet-friendly apartment searches in 2008, offers tips to new pet owners looking for an apartment:
- Ask permission. Ask the landlord’s permission before you get a pet.
- Conduct an online search. Many online apartment search sites allow users to conduct a pet-friendly apartment search. Be aware that some apartments may have size, weight or breed limitations.
- Paying for pet deposit. Confirm any additional costs associated with owning a pet. Remember to ask if the deposit is refundable or nonrefundable.