Finding a landlord who allows pets in his or her rental can be hard enough. When you do finally find a pet-friendly rental, there is a good chance that you will have to pay a hefty pet deposit. You probably want to get as much of this money back as possible, so follow these tips when renting with your pet.
Ask for the Deposit to Be Refundable
Some landlords require pet deposits to be non-refundable. Others will try to write this into your lease but may be convinced to change their minds if you talk to them about it. Make sure that you check the laws for your state to see if it is legal for your landlord to make your pet deposit non-refundable, and ask to have the contract changed if possible.
Confine Your Pet
It's generally best to keep your pet confined to certain areas of your rental so that you can restrict damage. For example, you might want to keep your pet off of the carpet if it isn't fully trained or if it commonly tracks in mud and dirt on its paws. By being proactive now, you can make cleanup -- and getting your deposit back -- a whole lot easier.
Before you move in, make sure that you take pictures of any existing damage. Go over this damage with your landlord, and ensure that it's in writing as preexisting damage. If someone else's cat scratched up the walls in the house, for example, the landlord might not want to repair it if you are going to be moving in with a pet as well. However, you shouldn't be held responsible for damage that your pet did not do.
Make sure that you stay on top of all of the cleanup in your rental. If your pet has an accident, make sure that you use an enzymatic cleaner -- which you can buy from a pet store -- to get up these messes as thoroughly as possible. Also, when you move out, make sure that you do a very thorough cleaning. You should consider hiring a professional carpet cleaning company (such as Go Green Carpet Cleaning) to come and clean up any pet messes or pet-related dirt from the carpet.
You probably don't want to lose your pet deposit when you move out of your rental if you don't have to. Luckily, following these steps can help you get your money back.