Anyone who owns a pet knows how much joy and excitement a beloved animal companion brings to them. It’s understandable that so many people love their pets and view them as family, so when you’re moving somewhere new, you want to ensure your furry, feathered, or scaly friends have a home, too. But, many factors determine what animals you’re allowed to keep inside a home or apartment.
When it comes to renting, it’s often legal for landlords and property management companies to restrict what kind of pets/how many pets are allowed. But, beyond that, legal restrictions vary by city, state, and country.
If you’re wondering if you can take your pet with you to a new rental, here are some things you need to know.
Can My Landlord Ban Pets?
In most cases, it’s legal for a landlord or owner of a property to set up a lease that says “no pets allowed.” While responsible pet owners may find this frustrating, it’s often included to protect the property from potential damage.
So,when looking for a place to rent, you’ll need to be sure which pets are allowed, if any. Make sure to read the lease throughly, and if you have questions, ask the person in charge of the lease.
In some cases, there may be exceptions, but you’ll need to get permission and get everything in writing. You don’t want to end up in a situation where you get kicked out or have to rehome your pet because you didn’t understand or adhere to the lease.
What About Service Animals?
According to the Americans With Disabilities Act, service dogs are exceptions landlords must follow. If you have a service animal that’s legally defined as such, you are allowed to have that dog, even in a rental that generally doesn’t allow pets.
However, depending on the state, emotional support animals are a bit of a different story. Some states do protect emotional support animals and require exceptions for them, but other states do not. Then, in some places, the property owner will allow exceptions for the emotional support animal, even if it’s not legally required.
So, for an ESA, you’ll want to research your area and ask questions about the lease.
Are Any Pets Banned Outright?
There are various federal, state, and local laws regarding the trade and ownership of animals. Many species are banned entirely, depending on where you live. Generally, species that aren’t allowed are exotic pets like large cats.
But, there are sometimes bans on specific breeds of dogs. It’s also common for certain reptiles to be banned in certain areas or apartments, even if they’ve been bred in captivity for years.
While some of these bans make sense and some make less sense, it’s important to research how many pets you’re allowed to have and what kind of pets you can own in your area.
Choosing The Right Pet
Once you research the laws about pets in your area and determine if pets are allowed in your rental, you may want to pick out a new pet. Many pets are suitable for apartment living or smaller rentals if they are accepted. These include:
- Geckos and small snakes
- Guinea pigs and hamsters
- Certain turtles
- Small dog breeds
- Most cat breeds
Generally, cats and dogs are the most likely to be allowed by your apartment complex or property owner.
With luck, you’ll find the perfect place for you and any pets you have!