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The downside of renting with pets

March 16, 2010

Being a pet owner and renter with pets (primarily 2 large dogs) can sometimes be a total bummer.  Like today, when I fell in love at first sight.

We’ve been planning to move this summer to a house close to work.  I saw this rental home today, just by accident, and I fell for it.  Hard.  Located in Vienna VA, where we can walk to local businesses and a farmer’s market.  On a 2/3 acre lot.  I can bike to work.  Cost of rent is similar to that of my condo.  Pets allowed.  The boyfriend loves it.  Seems perfect, right?

But then the file says “Owner will consider one small dog or cat with deposit.”

Total bummer.

I’m not giving up, though.  We’re going to offer a larger pet deposit than they’re asking.  I’ll share my kickass references from past landlords,  and hope these guys can be persuaded.  I mean, I trained my dogs stand on step stools to look out of the window, because I didn’t want them to ever jump on windowsills like so many other dogs I’ve seen.  They are crate trained.  Charlie is a little old lady, at 12 years old.  Seriously, they pose no threat to a rental home.

Sigh.

Update: We drove by the house after work today.  It is NOT nearly as attractive as it is in the photo.  Frankly, it looks pretty redneck.  Branches and logs and cinderblocks and kids toys adorn the yard.  The landscaping looks scraggly and the home just looks unloved.  I know that’s due to the tenants’ neglect, not the landlord.  However, seeing that made me even more determined. We would never, ever let our home look that way.  Within weeks of moving in we’d have that house so spiffed up it could qualify for an episode of HGTV’s Curb Appeal.  I just may mention that to the Realtor if I have to.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. Amber permalink
    March 16, 2010 3:11 PM

    Jane, I came across the same problem when I had large dogs myself. Typically the reason they don’t like renting to people with large pets is because it is insanely hard to get rid of the smell of the pets in addition to getting the animal dander out of the home & the damage the property owner obviously expects. I found all that out when I asked one time. I am going to hope that it turns out better for you than it did for me…

    • Borrowed Abode permalink*
      March 17, 2010 11:36 AM

      Amber – I totally get it. I’ve dealt with this obstacle for the last 10 years, and it still frustrates me. I have seen so many renters who allow their pets to destroy their homes, and it makes it a problem for the rest of us. The thing is, we keep our house super clean – and it really doesn’t smell. I’m keeping my fingers crossed, because in reality I believe we’d be better for a property than a family, because most kids I’ve met are more destructive than my pets ever dream of being. :)

  2. March 16, 2010 3:18 PM

    Is it the Del Ray place you just tweeted about? I spy a big ol’ bulldog in the pictures on the listing, but I’m sure you saw that, too. Maybe the landlord is posting a wish list. :)

    Your dogs have short hair, right? That should totally be a factor for the landlord. My golden leaves a mutant form of dust bunny around every day. The fuzz balls are so huge we call them dust rhinos. My neighbor has a short haired dog and you can barely see evidence of him in her house.

    • Borrowed Abode permalink*
      March 16, 2010 5:17 PM

      Sorry for the confusion :) The place in Del Ray that I tweeted is a condo that belongs to a friend of mine. The house that my boyfriend and I fell in love with is in Vienna, VA. It’s a 3 bedroom single family home. For our homefinding experience we’ve written a letter to prospective landlords on why we’d make excellent tenants, even with the 3 pets.

  3. Christine T. permalink
    March 16, 2010 3:20 PM

    Oh tell them about your blog. You will make the inside super cute and can use your blog to help them rent it out again when you move out! Free advertising!

  4. March 17, 2010 11:07 AM

    I had to threaten to walk away from my current lease because they said that pets were allowed, but when I read the fine print in the least it said ‘No dogs’. When I asked about this they said that it’s the landlords way to get out of an annoying dog situation if it exists. I refused to sign the lease until they updated it (1 dog less than 20 lbs, hopefully Bailey doesn’t get fat!)

  5. March 17, 2010 5:10 PM

    I hear you! I have One big dog, One small dog and a Cat. I am a landlords worst nightmare. And now I am thinking of moving again, and am scared I will never find a place that will allow me to bring my animal farm! Good luck with the hunt!

    • Borrowed Abode permalink*
      March 17, 2010 5:29 PM

      Erin – If you ever want to move to the Del Ray area of Alexandria, let me know. My landlord has a ton of great condos and is so pet friendly he let me foster two kittens on top of having my pets. He’s a good guy. And the condo community is ver dog-friendly, with a large grass courtyard where they can play.

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