Tips to Help Find Rental Housing

Here are some suggestions from the Humane Society of the United States for renters with pets:

* Give yourself enough time to find housing.

* Make use of available resources. Contact the local humane society, SPCA or the animal control agencies. Also check the online list of links to sites that list pet-friendly apartments.

* Gather proof that you're responsible: Put together a pet resume, a letter from your veterinarian, reports of spay/neuter status, vaccination record, current flea control method and a letter of reference from a current or past landlord verifying you as a responsible pet owner and tenant.

* Let the landlord know that you share any concerns about cleanliness. Point out that your pet is house trained or litter box trained. Emphasize that you always clean up after your dog outdoors and that you always dispose of your pet's waste properly.

* Promote yourself. Responsible pet owners can make excellent residents. Because they must search harder for a place to live, they are more likely to stay put.

* Offer to bring your pet to meet the property manager. Bring your pet to the interview to show how well-behaved and clean your pet is. Also, let your prospective landlord know that you maintain an active flea control program for your pet and home.

* Be willing to pay a little extra. Tell your prospective landlord that you are willing to agree to an extra security deposit to cover any costs.

* Get it in writing. Sign a pet addendum to your rental agreement. You may be required to pay a pet deposit, some or all of which may be nonrefundable. Be sure to discuss deposits and monthly pet fees in advance. Request a copy of any house rules pertaining to pets.

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