People adopt pets for a variety of reasons. A loving pet can bring endless joy into one’s life, give them a sense of purpose and even help improve their general outlook. However, as many first-time pet owners quickly discover, pets can also be a tremendous amount of work, particularly for guardians who are unprepared. Adopting a pet while living in an apartment can be a particularly tricky experience, especially for people living with roommates or whose buildings have strict policies regarding animals. Apartment dwellers who are interested in welcoming a pet into their home would be wise to take the following measures.
Consult Your Building’s Pet Policies
Before committing to adopt an animal, it’s imperative that you consult your building’s policies regarding pets. In most cases, these policies will be listed in your rental agreement, but if you can’t find them there, you should pay a visit to the property’s website. Animal lovers on the hunt for apartments that allow pets should make a point of perusing each building’s pet policies. Most buildings carefully spell out which animals, if any, residents are allowed to keep and outline the property owner’s expectations of pet owners. If the animal you wish to adopt isn’t allowed on the property or you don’t feel as if you’re up to the aforementioned expectations, you’ll need to put owning a pet on hold.
Consult Your Landlord
Even if you appear to be in full compliance with your building’s pet policies, it’s recommended that you speak with your landlord before taking the plunge. Some apartments require pet owners to pay a little extra in rent each month, while others require them to pay one-time pet deposits. Provided your pet has caused no damage by the time you move out, many landlords will return this deposit. If your landlord discovers that you’ve been keeping a pet without consulting him or her, you may be expected to pay a fine and/or back-rent for the animal. Conversely, keeping a pet in a building that strictly forbids animals may be grounds for eviction and/or legal action. As such, make a point of getting your landlord’s blessing before signing any adoption papers.
Consult Your Roommate
If you live with a roommate, common courtesy dictates that you consult him or her before adopting a pet. For all you know, your roomie may be allergic to the type of animal you wish to adopt or simply have an aversion to pets. Even if you promise to do all the work, your pet will be a part of your roommate’s life, too, and he or she deserves a say in the matter.
The desire to adopt a pet is perfectly understandable. After all, the right animal can make a great companion and provide you with countless hours of laughter and fun. However, jumping into the role of a pet owner unprepared can have serious consequences, particularly if you happen to live in an apartment. To make this experience as simple and stress-free as possible, put the previously discussed pointers to good use when adopting your next pet.