Adopting a pet can be a rewarding experience. But when you are renting, having a pet makes it more difficult to find a new home. Many single-family rental properties in St Mary’s County may seem like it’s the ideal home for a furry family member. However, landlords and/or property owners may not be too happy about having 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 this resistance to pets in rental homes, it means that there are things you have to strongly consider before deciding to adopt. Asking yourself these seven questions will show you the extent of how adopting a pet will affect your life.
1. Does your landlord and/or lease allow pets? If so, what are the restrictions?
As a tenant, the most important question to ask yourself, before entertaining the idea of adopting a pet, is whether or not you can even bring your pet home. There are a number of landlords that are open to allowing pets into their property, but there are also a number of landlords that have strictly banned all animals from the premises. Examine your lease again; most leases will clearly state which way your particular landlord leans. If your lease allows pets, make sure to read it carefully, paying to any details that may indicate restrictions on animal type, size, breed, and so on. You should also check local regulations for rules about keeping animals in your particular neighborhood. If things aren’t clear, don’t be afraid to ask. Because the penalties of having an unauthorized pet can be quite significant.
2. Do you or anyone living in your rental home have allergies?
Millions of pet owners find out that they are allergic to their own pet a little bit too late. As reported by the AAAAI (American Academy of Allergy Asthma, and Immunology), pet dander, saliva, and urine can all trigger allergic reactions and even aggravate asthma symptoms. If you or anyone living with you has allergies or other respiratory issues, a pet can seriously impact your or 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. And it doesn’t matter if the pet you chose is 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. Take dogs as an example, they need access to a safe, secure yard (or another specified 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. Pets require constant care and attention, so if they were to be left alone too much, they may 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 fix this is to spend time interacting with your pet. This would encourage them to mentally and physically engage with you.
5. Do you have a backup plan for when life gets busy?
Traveling after adopting a pet can really be a challenge. If an opportunity or obligation comes up and you have to plan a trip that demands that you stay away from home for a while, you must have 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. This means that in the event of an emergency, you must have backup care for your pet. This could be a friend or a family member or 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. Most animals require regular medical attention and a lot of them should also have routine grooming. Your animal may get sick or injured, and you’ll need to get yourself ready for that. That means having access to the funds to pay for emergency medical care which can easily run into thousands of dollars for just one incident. In addition to that, there is a financial aspect of owning a pet that connects 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 don’t even include any extra costs that may arise from the potential property damage your pet might cause. Those additional expenses may have to be covered out of your pocket. This is why being financially ready to adopt a pet is one of the most important matters to consider.
7. Are you prepared to care for your pet for the next 5 to 10 years (or more)?
The lives of many pets are long. This means that pet owners should plan to have them for 5 to 10 years or even longer, and should take this into consideration if they rent a home. Spend some time to think about your plans and goals, then think about how adopting a pet may affect those plans. When you do this, you can better decide whether or not taking in a pet is a smart choice.
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 St Mary’s County property manager so they get updated with your plans and can make whatever adjustments are needed to the terms of your lease.
Are you interested in renting a home from Real Property Management Gold? A lot of our rental properties allow pets. Browse our rental listings and give us a ring at 301-392-2172 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.