Thinking of Breaking Your Landlord’s Pet Policy?

Is a cute little kitty or puppy on the top of your wish list this year, but you are not sure if your landlord  allows pets?  Are you thinking of sneaking in that little furry friend anyway, and taking your chances?  You may feel it’s a worthwhile gamble, but bringing a pet into your apartment when it’s not allowed can lead to some severe consequences. In order to protect yourself, follow these steps.

Read your lease

Pets can add SO MUCH to your life, despite being an extra responsibility. If you think you’re ready for a pet, that’s great!! But before you step into the pet store you must check your lease to ensure your landlord has a pet-friendly policy.  As you read through your apartment lease, consider what could happen if you do get caught with the pet…and assume you will get caught.

Your lease agreement should have all the pet policy details spelled out, but if not, reach out to your management office before deciding to adopt a pet to ensure you can afford all the potential fees and deposits.

No Pets Allowed

If your lease does not allow pets, bringing one into your apartment is risky. Repercussions at minimum include massive fines (these can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands!), and at maximum can be grounds for eviction. In either case, once busted, you won’t be able to keep your pet in your apartment any more, meaning you’ll have to move immediately or find a new home for your pet; neither of which is fair.

Being evicted, especially for blatantly breaking rules, can also negatively impact your ability to rent an apartment in the future. This is a huge risk!

Pet Deposit or Pet Rent

Your lease may allow pets with an extra security deposit, or with a monthly “Pet Rent” added to your rent payment. If your landlord does allow pets, each will need to be registered with your leasing office (and each will probably cost you a fee). Again, assume you’ll get caught if you do not follow the procedure.

Stricter Move-out Inspection

Apartments with pets also often get a more strenuous inspection when you move out, since your landlord knows that an apartment with a pet is more likely to have damage than an apartment with no pets. To avoid extra fines, train your pet well and be sure you take great care of them to keep them from getting destructive.

While bringing a furry friend home can bring lots of joy, if your apartment does not allow them, it can become a huge problem very quickly. Instead of breaking your apartment’s pet policy, if you’re an animal lover, consider volunteering at a local animal shelter, visiting animals in pet stores, or watching animals on There are tons of ways to get your animal-fix in without the risk of losing  your apartment!

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Author My First Apartment

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Sarah is a dog lover and advocate for conversation & laughing at your own jokes. Since finishing her college career in communications, she began working (and living) in Atlanta. After living in a few different apartments over the last few years, she's ready to share experiences. Stay tuned for adventures, tips and advice!

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