Dogs make great roommates. They’re wonderful company, never hog the television remote control, and rarely throw parties. But renters across the country know that finding pet-friendly housing can be a formidable challenge in some markets. While some towns and small cities have a relative wealth of options to choose from, others, such as San Francisco, seem to be experiencing a housing crisis of sorts when it comes to pet-friendly options. Anywhere that the housing market is tight — New York, Houston, Chicago — likely is seeing a growing problem.
“At the SF SPCA, we are seeing an increasing number of teary-eyed pet owners being forced to surrender their cats and dogs to us because of housing issues,” says media relations specialist Krista Maloney. “This disturbing trend is due to the fact that pet-friendly housing is becoming scarce in San Francisco. Despite being one of the most pet-friendly cities in America, with 1.7 dogs to every one child, landlords have a different idea of what constitutes a good renter.”
In the past 12 months, the SF SPCA has managed 216 surrender cases because of housing issues, half of which were because pet owners couldn’t obtain a suitable lease. In some cases, a formerly pet-friendly agreement changed to no longer allow animals.
So, how can you prevent you and your four-legged roommates from being rendered homeless?
1. Prepare a pet resume
When you’re starting to apply for housing, draft a pet resume and have it ready for when you submit your credit report. “Be proactive about making yourself a good candidate to show your pet has been a great tenant in the past,” Maloney says. “Include your dog’s great qualities, such as being sociable, friendly, quiet, great with children, and non-destructive.” Also include a list of past buildings your pet has lived in and a photo of your furry friend. Plus, a vet can vouch for the dog’s mannerisms and behavior. This kind of personal touch will prove that you’re a responsible pet owner who plays an active role in his or her animal’s life. Take this part of the application process less than seriously and risk being turned down as an applicant — just ask Oakland A’s pitcher Sean Doolittle and his partner, Eireann Dolan.
2. Get referrals from past landlords
“When you move out of a building, if your pet has been a great tenant, ask your landlord to write a referral. That can go a long way to make your pet a great candidate when you’re applying for housing,” Maloney says. It’s the same theory as applied to humans. If someone can vouch for you, you’re more likely to be trusted by the next proprietor.
3. Make sure “pet friendly” is written into the lease
If and when you do secure pet-friendly housing, make sure you have all the details written on paper. “A verbal agreement is one thing, but if you don’t have it written into your lease that you’re allowed to have pets, a new landlord can put you in a tough spot,” Maloney warns.
Read the rest at: http://www.dogster.com