How Many Pets are Allowed in an Apartment?


How Many Pets are Allowed in an Apartment

Pets are loyal companions that give many of us a source of comfort, no matter your living situation. Apartments normally have a specific set of rules and regulations that tenants are expected to follow. One of these regulations involves whether pets are allowed in your apartment building and if so, the number of pets you can keep, weight restrictions, and even the breed specifications.

So, how many pets are allowed in an apartment? In the US most apartments are limited to 2 pets per residence. Plus some of the apartments do not permit pets over 55lbs (or may charge further fees).

However, the landlord may have different pet policy, and this is usually indicated in your lease. If they are allowed, there might be other specifications as well on the number, size, and breed.

There are two possible outcomes when you intend to rent an apartment and live with a couple of animal friends:


When your landlord allows pets 

This is usually indicated in your lease. Some of the restrictions you can expect when pets are allowed in your apartment building include:

  • The type of pets allowed –You might find that your landlord does not mind when you keep animals that require little care such as fish or birds. However, when it comes to high-maintenance animals such as dogs and cats, your landlord may not be so accommodating. This is because your dog or cat is more likely to cost your landlord when it comes to deodorizing your apartment when you move out. (This is especially true when your pet isn’t too well trained)
  • The number of pets you can keep – Once you have determined that your pet type is allowed in the apartment, it is important to take the number limit into consideration. There is no definite rule on the number of pets that you can generally keep in an apartment. Your landlord usually makes this decision, and the number allowed will likely depend on:
  • The type of pet you have: your landlord is more likely to let you keep a considerable number of small pets such as fish or even small dog breeds than a similar number of larger dog breeds.
  • The space available in your apartment: the size of your apartment also plays a huge role when it comes to the number of animal friends you are allowed to have. For example, your landlord will probably not let you keep 2 dogs in a studio apartment due to the limited apartment space.
  • Restrictions on size – Property owners and landlords may make a point of imposing restrictions on the weight of the animals that are allowed in an apartment building. For example, some apartments do not rent out their spaces to dog owners with dogs that weigh over 55 lbs.
  • Breed specifications – There are certain specifications that are set when it comes to breeds of animals, especially dogs, which can be kept in a rented apartment. Breeds of dogs that are deemed as potentially aggressive such as German Shepherds, Pit Bulls, Dobermans, and Rottweilers may not be allowed. You may consider your dog to be harmless, but many landlords are just not willing enough to take that risk.


Fees and deposits that you may be required to pay when you have pets

There are certain fees and deposits that you might be required to pay when you have are an apartment renter with pets. They include:

  • A pet deposit: This can be generally defined as a security deposit for your pet. It is generally refundable, and it serves the purpose of covering any damage to your apartment space that may be inflicted by your pet. This includes any scratches that your cat may have caused on the apartment wall or all those times your dog made the living room carpet his bathroom. However, if there is no visible evidence of damage by your pet, you will most likely get the full amount you deposited back.
  •  A pet fee: This is charged to pet owners as a one-time fee, and is generally regarded as the price of entry into the apartment for your pet. The amount you will be required to pay varies depending on the size and breed of the animal. Unlike pet deposits, a pet fee is non-refundable.
  • Pet rent: This is simply rent for your pet. It is usually charged monthly, but you can opt to pay a yearly fee as well. It may vary depending on the size and breed of your pet, and the rent is usually per pet. Pet rent is non-refundable. 


Estimated dog and cat fees for Renters

DogsCats
Pet Fees$150-$200$150-$200
Deposit$500$250
Monthly Rent$50-$100$25-$75


When the property owner is not such a big fan of your animal friends

How Many Pets are Allowed in an Apartment 2

Your pet might be the sweetest creature in the world in your opinion, but if the lease contains a no-pets clause, you have no option but to comply. If you choose to disregard this and move in with your pets anyway, you shouldn’t be too taken aback when your landlord decides to evict you since they generally have the legal right to do so. Other than eviction, you might face other issues such as:

  • Fines – Fines are usually charged per pet so you can imagine just how much you might have to pay if you sneak in several pets. Furthermore, some landlords may attempt to charge you for every day that the pet lives with you in your apartment rather than charge a set amount.
  • Removal of the pet – when you violate the no-pet clause, your landlord may decide to ask you to remove the animal from their property. This will most likely result in you moving out of the apartment as well because you’ll probably not be too willing to give up your pet if you went through all the trouble of breaking some rules.

However, this is only applicable if the no-pets clause is in the lease that you initially signed, meaning that your landlord cannot just wake up one day and change the pet policy in the middle of your lease.

There are situations where property owners and landlords can be flexible on the set policies regarding the type and number of pets that can be kept, as long as you prove that you and your pet can be responsible tenants.


Strategies that can help potentially change your landlord’s mind

How Many Pets are Allowed in an Apartment 3
  • A good pet resume goes a long way –It is not unheard of to build your pet a stellar resume, especially when you need to speed up the screening process. Some of the things you will find in a pet resume include a flattering photo of your pet, a general description of breed and size, important health records, training certification, your grooming tactics and procedures, and the overall behavior of your pet.
  • Don’t hold back when it comes to promoting your pet – It doesn’t hurt to inform your landlord of your desire to maintain hygiene levels even with a pet around. Remember to mention that your pet is vaccinated, potty-trained and flea-controlled as well. Go a step further by obtaining a training certificate to showcase just how well-behaved your dog is.
  • Pet insurance is just as important – Landlords and property owners are more likely to be lenient when they know that you have pet insurance, especially if you own a breed that is potentially aggressive.
  • Time to get your furry friend neutered! – Getting your pet neutered is a good idea, especially if you are an apartment renter. This is essential in preventing your pets from having offspring and increasing animal numbers beyond what is allowed in your lease.
  • A recommendation letter – You can ask previous landlords who allowed pets and neighbors as well to help you craft a glowing recommendation letter to speed up the process.


Additional tips

  • Conduct some research before moving into an apartment –
    If you are a pet owner, it is always wise to carry out research on animal-friendly listings or realtors before potentially moving in. There are some landlords who readily advertise pet-friendly apartments. These are the ones you should go for.
  • Consult with potential roommates as well – Before moving into a shared apartment, always consult with your roommate about how they feel about living with more than one pet. You should also be considerate about any allergies or phobias they might have.


Related questions

  • What about emotional support pets? – Although landlords and property owners have the right to include a no-pets clause in the lease, emotional support animals are exempt to the rule. According to the Federal Fair Housing Laws, Emotional Support Animals (ESA) have unlimited access to apartments, including those with a no-pet policy, and they are additionally exempt from any pet-related fees. 
  • What if the landlord says it is okay to keep pets despite the no-pets clause in the lease? – Do not sign a lease that contains a no-pets clause even if you get the go-ahead from the landlord or there are other pets on the property already. This will help you evade any pet-related costs that may be charged to you in the future. If there are any changes, they should be reflected in the lease. It is also important to keep a copy of the lease form for future references. 
  • Are pets covered under renter’s insurance? – Pets are not covered under renters insurance. It only covers any damage inflicted to your personal belongings, which does not include your pets. Animals are covered by pet insurance. 

Melanie Asiba

Melanie is an author. She enjoys traveling, reading and trying out new things. In addition to writing for Apartment ABC. Connect with her at [email protected]

Recent Content