Finding dog-friendly housing can be tough, especially if your best friend is a pit bull. Rejection hurts, but don’t panic! Instead, be proactive and ready to prove to landlords why you and your dog are the perfect tenants.
ADVICE FROM FELLOW PIT BULL OWNERS
1. When looking for a new home, bring your well trained dog with you to meet the landlords. It’s easy to decline dog owners on the phone, but so much harder when they meet a great applicant and lovely dog in person. Be polite no matter how they respond. Many a landlord has been moved to give applicants a try when they act calm, professional and show a willingness to work to address all of their concerns.
2. Obedience train your spayed or neutered dog and create an eye-catching pet resume that includes cute photos and letters of recommendation from your vet, neighbors and trainer to show how well liked your dog is and responsible you are. Describe any arrangements you make for your pet while you’re at work or away on vacation.
3. Ask your trainer how to help your dog earn his Canine Good Citizen title (CGC). This impressive certification helps show landlords that your pet is able to demonstrate the best manners.
4. Since liability is every property owner’s biggest concern, buy renter’s insurance that will cover your dog. In California, Farmers Insurance will sell a $300,000 liability policy for $200 a year. This is a small price to pay to help
your landlord feel good about renting to you. Note: Nationwide Insurance Company will cover any dog that has its CGC title.
5. Consider offering an additional pet deposit to cover any damages.
6. Never try to hide your dog or sign a lease that doesn’t allow dogs. You’re much safer if you stay honest and if you have the landlord add your dog’s name and breed to the lease. If you decide to hide your dog, you’re at the mercy of ill-informed neighbors who might turn you in! Landlords are more likely to evict dogs when they’re pressured by neighbors or if they’re caught off guard.
7. Be an awesome tenant. Pick up after your dog. Don’t let him bark non-stop or annoy others. Don’t let him run loose. Let willing neighbors meet your well behaved pet so they can support you in your ownership….Consider inviting them over to a BBQ for some enjoyable ‘get to know’ time. Wear a thick skin and be polite to those that are rude or afraid. Make it your mission to help them realize you’re a thoughtful, responsible dog owner with a well loved pet!
8. Be resourceful and persistent. Craigslist (www.craigslist.org) is a great resource for dog friendly housing ads. You may want to consider placing a ‘Housing Wanted’ ad on this same website.
9. It can take many weeks to find a rental that will allow your pet, but patience will pay off. If you’re in a pinch, consider boarding your pet at your vet’s office or boarding facility to keep him safe while you hunt for a pet friendly rental.
For more info, visit BADRAP.org