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7 Questions Renton Tenants Should Ask Themselves Before Adopting a Pet

Woman Holding a Rescue DogAdopting a pet can really make a family feel fulfilled. 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 Renton that you’d think would be perfect for a furry family member. However, landlords and/or property owners may not be ecstatic about the idea of having animals on their property.

Reports about irresponsible tenants are plentiful, and it gives a bad name to otherwise responsible pet-owning tenants. This is an example of the acts of a few affecting the group as a whole. 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. By posing these seven questions, you can get a better idea of how adopting a pet will change every part of your life.

1.       Does your landlord and/or lease allow pets? If so, what are the restrictions?

As a tenant, the primary question to ask before adopting a pet is whether or not you can even bring your pet home. Some landlords are fine with it and are open to allowing pets in their property, but there are others who have strictly banned all animals from the premises. Review your lease; most leases will clearly state which way your particular landlord leans. If your lease allows pets, then be sure to read the details of the lease carefully. There may be restrictions on animal type, size, breed, and so on. You may also need to confirm with local regulations for rules about keeping animals in your particular neighborhood. If things aren’t very clear, ask for clarification. 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?

Millions of pet owners realize a little too late that they are allergic to their own pet. The AAAAI (American Academy of Allergy Asthma, and Immunology) says that pet dander, saliva, and urine can all trigger allergic reactions and even aggravate asthma symptoms. If anyone living in your rental home suffers from allergies or other respiratory issues, introducing a pet may seriously impact your or their health. This would require you to get specialized treatment for your symptoms, which can raise 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 is true regardless of size— your pet could be very small or very large. Before adopting a pet, you have to think about its ability to have a healthy life. You have to check if the rental home can be arranged to have enough space for your pet. Take dogs, for instance, they need access to a safe, secure yard (or another identified 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 think only of the benefits of adopting a pet but fail to consider the responsibilities. If your job or other commitments require you to travel a lot or stay out of the house for long periods of time, 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 correct this problem is to spend time interacting with your pet, encouraging them to connect with you both 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 need to plan a trip because of something that comes up, and you have to stay out of the house for a while, you really need to have a backup plan for animal care. There are only a few places that permit you to bring your animals with you, but regardless of that, traveling with your pet can also make them feel scared and 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. Animals need regular medical attention and some of them also need routine grooming. If your animal gets sick or is injured, you’ll need to take them to the vet as soon as possible. The funds to pay for emergency medical care can easily run into thousands of dollars for just one incident. Then there is another financial aspect of owning a pet that is connected 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 cover the potential property damage your pet might cause, which you would probably have to pay out of your own pocket. This is why your financial situation is one of the most important matters to consider. You need to be financially ready to adopt a pet before actually doing it.

7.      Are you prepared to care for your pet for the next 5 to 10 years (or more)?

Several pets have long and healthy lives. This means that pet owners who rent should plan to have them for the next 5 to 10 years or even longer. Take some time to think about the future you want and the plans you have, then factor in a pet into that and see how those plans change. Doing this will better inform you if adopting a pet is the right choice.

In Conclusion

If you’ve gone through all the questions above and think you’re ready to adopt a pet, there’s still one more thing you have to do. Communicate with your landlord or Renton property manager so they know what you’re going to do. They can then make the necessary changes to the terms of your lease.

Are you interested in renting a home from Real Property Management Eclipse? We have a number of rental properties that allow pets. Browse our rental listings and contact us at 425-209-0252 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.