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Top 5 Tips for Renting with Pets

Updated: Aug 8, 2023

Finding a pet-friendly rental home in and around Yorktown can be difficult, often due to poor pet parenting from a small minority which leads to discrimination across the board. Today, we want to give our loyal friends and followers our top 5 tips for renting with pets. Using these methods should make the task of finding a pet-friendly rental easier.

Be Flexible

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We all know the adage, "location, location, location" as it refers to real estate and demand for homes in nicer, more centrally located areas. While many of our pet-friendly friends need to keep school districts and commute times in mind when finding a rental home, we encourage you to consider balancing your need for the best neighborhoods and locations with the availability of pet-friendly homes.

Unfortunately, demand for certain areas makes finding a pet-friendly rental more difficult. Not only are you bound to find more pet-related restrictions in high-demand areas, but you'll also find higher pet fees, steeper rental prices, and stiff competition for fewer homes.

Start Early

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These days, rentals aren't on the market long before they are snatched up. Doing your research early will, therefore, prepare you to jump on opportunities that arise once you're ready to sign a lease.

Instead of waiting until you see a listing and then looking into schools, locations, etc., do so weeks before you need to find a home. Make a list of ideal locations, must-have amenities, secondary or tertiary needs, and areas that you wish to exclude from your search. That way, once you're ready, you'll have a trusty list to help you make the best decision for your family before someone else snags your dream pet-friendly rental.

Work with a Realtor®

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Realtors® and property managers are a great resource for renters, especially if you're new to an area. Realtors® can discuss neighborhoods, give recommendations based on your needs, and answer questions. They are a wealth of knowledge and can distinguish between a great find and one you may regret. No matter what you're looking for, a knowledgeable real estate professional can lead you in the right direction.

Realtors® that help families find rental homes are most often paid by the property's listing agent therefore there is usually no cost to you for their help and expertise. They not only want to help you find the ideal home for your family, but realtors can also help you navigate pet-related requests and negotiations. Once you have a professional representing you, your search for a rental should improve drastically, as they know the area, industry standards, etc.

If you are a military family, we recommend you look for the area's PCS Pay-it-Forward group on Facebook to connect with realtors that specialize in military moves. We also recommend you check out this episode of Covered in Pet Hair in which our friend and pet podcaster, Isabel Alvarez Arata, interviews a realtor about finding pet-friendly rentals and how to navigate the sometimes grueling process.

Yorktown Pet-Friendly Realtors

If you're looking for a pet-friendly rental or neighborhood in and around Yorktown, Virginia, I'd like to offer up a few of my personal recommendations. I have personally known Kathy Mackin for years. She is very knowledgeable about our area. I have met Vicki Burnette several times and Kitty Holzback once; both are pet advocates. They were sponsors for a pet photography event in Running Man that I participated in. Because these three realtors are pet lovers, they are committed to finding the best home for the whole family, pets included.

Prepare a Pet Resume

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Pet resumes are all the rage these days. And, while many landlords and tenants are still unfamiliar with the concept of a pet resume, they can be very helpful to both parties.

In your pet resume, describe your pet by name, provide photos or videos, and speak about your pet's personality, likes, dislikes, etc. By presenting your pet as a valued member of your family and household, you present yourself as a pet parent that can be trusted to care for the pet properly and thereby protect the landlord's home and investment.

If your pet has taken any training classes, completed any certification programs, etc., mention their accomplishments in the pet resume. Include their vaccination records, dog license certificates, and photos of events or sports they have participated in. The more educated and better cared for your pet appears in the pet resume, the more amenable a landlord may be to taking them in.

Finally, list your pet's skills such as loose-leash walking, recall, and crate training. By listing your pet's skills, you're giving your landlord a better idea of how you manage your pet's day-to-day life and how involved you are in his or her learning, behavior, and care. If you have Pet First Aid & CPR training, for example, mention that somewhere too. The idea is to highlight your dedication to being a responsible pet parent.

Most pet resumes are sent electronically, therefore, sharing your pet's social media page, using Canva to create an electronic pet resume, or sending a PDF file from Google Docs is a great way to share your pets' stories with a potential landlord.

List Your Pet's References

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One of the benefits of working with pet professionals like trainers, behavior consultants, groomers, and pet sitters is that we can serve as a pet reference when you move.

Getting to know the pet professionals in your life allows us to serve as enthusiastic references for you and your pet. As stated above, most landlords are concerned about renting to pet-loving families because of the horror stories they either hear or experience first-hand. A glowing reference from a professional in the pet industry can make the difference between winning a pet-friendly rental or being looked over.

At Hearts at Home Pet Sitting, we love pet-friendly families. Without the trust and support of our loyal client base, our business wouldn't be what it is today. For this reason, if you are or have been a client of ours and wish to have us serve as your pet's reference, please let us know. We are happy to speak on your behalf and share our experience working with you and your pets.

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Our team of professionals offers top-notch dog walking, dog sitting, and cat sitting services in Yorktown, Poquoson, Newport News, and Hampton, Virginia. There is no other in-home pet care provider in the area that shares our level of passion for pets and commitment to their families.

To get started, submit your new client questionnaire here. For more information visit our website or contact us by email at or by phone at 757-745-9868.

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