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Finding the Right Apartment to Move Home with Your Service Dog or Pet

Whether you’re looking for a new apartment new home with your service dog or pet, this article will walk you through the steps to finding the perfect pet-friendly apartment. It covers things like ensuring your new home is on a quiet residential street, breed restrictions, and what to look out for. In addition, it will give you tips for checking out your neighbors’ pets and negotiating a lease with the landlord.


Make sure the environment is safe

When you move to a new place with pets, it is important to check the breed restrictions to see if you can bring your pet with you. Some San Jose pet friendly apartments communities do not allow certain dog breeds and will exercise restraint if the animal is too aggressive. It is also important to know about the age of the dog to make sure the new environment is safe for your furry friend. Here are some common breed restrictions:

Before you get your new place, you need to research the new state laws to find out if there are any dog vaccination or licensing requirements.


Honesty with landlords

One way to avoid problems in renting a new home with your service dog or pet is, to be honest with your landlord. Not only is it advisable to be upfront about the nature of your pet, but it will also make your landlord more comfortable with your decision. When discussing a pet deposit, be sure to fully understand its terms and conditions. By being honest with your landlord, you can avoid any unpleasant surprises during your stay and also save money in the long run.

Showing your landlord a vet’s letter confirming that your pet is well-trained will show your landlord that you’ve taken good care of it. Unless you have a service dog, you should also ask about pet deposits and pet rent. Pets can cause damage to your property so it’s advisable to protect your property by purchasing insurance that covers these costs.


Service dogs are not pets

Under the law, Service Dogs are considered medical equipment and therefore are exempt from no-pet housing and breed restrictions, however being considerate will go a long way in making your new home experience more pleasant. It’s not unusual for a landlord or HOA to request a letter from a prospective tenant’s physician stating their need for a Service Dog, however physicians can’t verify training or testify to the behavior of the a dog. Service Dog Standards provides guidelines and best practices for handlers and trainers. Service Dog Standards may be used by handlers, landlords and HOA’s to help everyone feel more confident that service dog owners not only understand their rights, but their responsibilities as well.

The Fair Housing Act is the main law that helps provide guidance for landlords, home owner associations and tenants. However, they are not the only resource. For complete information, please consult:

  • the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
  • the U.S. Department of Justice
  • the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • your state Attorney General
  • your attorney
The law states:

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to refuse to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, or services, when such accommodations may be necessary to afford a handicapped person equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling unit, including public and common use areas.

(b) The application of this section may be illustrated by the following examples:

Example (1): A blind applicant for rental housing wants live in a dwelling unit with a seeing eye dog. The building has a no pets policy. It is a violation of §100.204 for the owner or manager of the apartment complex to refuse to permit the applicant to live in the apartment with a seeing eye dog because, without the seeing eye dog, the blind person will not have an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling.


Checking with neighbors

Finding the right apartment for moving home with your pets is not an easy task. Taking into consideration the breed and size of your pet, it is essential to choose the most pet-friendly apartment possible. Before moving home, you can ask property managers or neighbors about the atmosphere of the pet community. Ask if other pet owners have had any problems with other tenants’ pets. Inquiring about this can avoid awkward situations. Another factor to consider when moving home with your pets is the space available.


Find a good veterinarian

If you are moving home with your pets, finding a new veterinarian is essential. If you are going to live in a new neighborhood, finding a veterinarian close to your new home will ensure continuity of care. Make sure that your pet has all of the required shots and is licensed and tagged appropriately. If your pet is unlikely to interact with other animals in the neighborhood, you should ask the landlord for a pet deposit.








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  • Sarwar Abdullah December 11, 2022

    We’re thinking about moving, and I came across this article, which has been extremely helpful. Everything you mentioned was familiar to me. But there was one thing I forgot “Make sure the environment is safe.” which is very important.  I believe that an apartment-appropriate pet, such as my girl Milky, is essential for an apartment lifestyle. She is a cross between a German Spitz and a Lassa. We adopted her in our current apartment, and she adjusted quickly 😍


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