Pet-friendly Apartments: How to Stay on Your Neighbors’ Good Side

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Renters who have a pet often face additional challenges when searching for and renting a new apartment. The primary challenge is finding an apartment willing to accept pets, but even after finding one, it can be difficult to keep a healthy relationship with your new neighbors, who might become frustrated if your pets make noise, get loose or otherwise annoy them.

Striking a balance and maintaining a good relationship with your neighbors is key to your happiness and the happiness of others in your community.

Below are six things to be aware of when owning a pet as a renter:

1. Don’t rush when moving in. If you can spend a few full days with your pet after moving in, you’ll help reduce the stress brought on by a new environment and you can help reduce unwanted behaviors and noises.

2. Get to know your neighbors and keep healthy lines of communication. This way, they’ll feel comfortable letting you know of any issues your pet may be causing, and you’ll have an easier time discussing minor frustrations before they become major problems. Don’t be afraid to check in with your neighbors every so often and make sure your pet isn’t causing them any problems.

3. If your pet hasn’t been trained, know that it’s still possible to train your animal, regardless of age. Know that moving can cause your pet to have some anxiety, so longer play times and more frequent walks can help keep them well-behaved throughout the day.

4. Be sure to clean up after your pet (think pooper-scooper) and try to have your pet use only designated areas. This way, your neighbors see you taking responsibility for your dog, and your pet begins to know where it is appropriate for them to be.

5. Before letting your pet roam without a leash within a neighbor’s apartment or home, make sure to ask your neighbors if they approve. Don’t make the assumption that neighbors are comfortable around animals, especially if they have children.

6. Continually communicate, be social and be respectful of your neighbors. If you’re up to it, throw simple social get-togethers — this way, other residents will have more time to get to know you and your pet.

Just because your landlord may allow pets doesn’t mean that all situations will work. Renting an apartment as a pet owner takes careful consideration and proactive work with your pet and your relationships. With all the research pointing to the benefits of sharing your life with a pet, you’ll want to make doubly sure that you don’t jeopardize your living arrangement or the level of comfort at home for you or for your neighbors. It’s better to be proactive than reactive.