Looking for an apartment can be challenging, especially when you have questions about how a pet will impact your search. Does this apartment complex allow pets? Will I be able to afford any pet fees? Is there a dog park on-site or nearby? These are just a few things to think about when looking for pet friendly apartments in Saraland. At La Maison, we’re here to help find the perfect place for you and your pet.

WHAT MAKES AN APARTMENT PET FRIENDLY?

Different apartments often have different rules and regulations related to pets, and at varying degrees. Some apartments allow pets, but with restrictions on breeds, on weight, and maybe even monthly pet rent requirements. These restrictions are common, but they can add stress to one’s search for a pet friendly apartment.

Other apartments might be more pet friendly, with little to no restrictions, on-site dog parks, or fewer pet fees. Truly pet friendly apartments might even provide treats, outdoor washing stations, or host pet-focused community events like parades or costume contests. At La Maison, we’re happy to say that our community is pet friendly, and we even have an on-site dog park for you and your furry friends.

It’s important to consider your own needs, as well as your pet’s, when searching for a pet friendly apartment. You might have a smaller breed, and be fine with weight restrictions. On the other hand, you may need to search for a place that accommodates larger breeds. If the community has a dog park, are cleanup stations available?

WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT APARTMENT PET RESTRICTIONS

When searching for a pet friendly apartment in Saraland, you may run across rentals that list banned breeds. These bans are usually the result of city or county ordinances, but they can also be a result of the rental community’s insurance policy. Because of the perceived risk of dog bite claims and strict liability coverage, certain breeds may be restricted by the community. Here are some examples breeds you may see on a restricted breeds list:

  • American Pit Bulls
  • German Shepherds
  • Rottweilers
  • Mastiffs
  • Doberman Pinschers
  • Akitas
  • Malamutes
  • Huskies
  • Dalmatians
  • Chow Chows
  • Boxers
  • Cane Corsos
  • Staffordshire Terriers
  • Presa Canarios
  • Wolf Hybrids

Having more than one pet can also impact your search. Many pet friendly apartments limit owners to two pets, as the apartments typically have limited space. This rule is intended to prevent damage to the space that could result from too many pets in a confined space. Weight restrictions are also put in place for this reason. Standard floor plans may not offer the appropriate space for large dogs, or multiple smaller pets.

Maybe your pet isn’t a dog or a cat, but instead a reptile or other exotic animal. Many apartment communities don’t allow exotic pets, so it may be difficult to find a pet friendly apartment if you are an exotic pet owner. “Exotic” could mean any animal other than a dog or cat. Violating exotic animal restrictions is considered a violation of your lease agreement, and could result in eviction. Alabama’s exotic animal restrictions include, but are not limited to:

  • Piranhas
  • Walking Catfish
  • Non-native Venomous Reptiles
  • Tegus
  • Mongoose
  • Any Species of Wild Rabbit or Hare
  • Coyotes
  • Foxes
  • Raccoons
  • Skunks
  • Wild Rodents
  • Wild Turkeys
  • Bobcats

Service dogs and emotional support animals are considered exempt from pet restrictions due to Federal Fair Housing Laws. Under these laws, apartment communities that normally don’t allow pets must allow service/support animals.

WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN LOOKING AT A PET FRIENDLY APARTMENT

When looking at pet friendly apartments, you should take into consideration some of your pet’s needs alongside your own. If you’re planning on getting a puppy, you’ll have to take them out often, so a ground floor apartment might be more convenient.

Other things to consider are which apartment layouts are best for you and your pet, as well as the materials used for flooring (like carpet, hardwood, or tile). Having a balcony is wonderful for enjoying some fresh air, but it does come with the risk of injury to your pets. If you plan on having your breakfast outside, screened-in balconies or ground-floor apartments are important to consider for your pet’s safety.

Another important detail to consider in your search for a pet friendly apartment is its location. Does the area have sidewalks for walks with your pet? Are there any parks nearby? Where is the nearest animal hospital? If you’re planning on using a pet daycare service, is there a location on your way to work?

WILL I PAY MORE FOR A PET FRIENDLY APARTMENT?

One of the most important aspects to consider when choosing a pet friendly apartment is additional costs. Common expenses include pet rent, pet deposits, and pet fees. Only the pet deposit is a refundable cost, but would go toward any damages to the apartment by the pet.

Pet fees are one-time and nonrefundable. Pet rent is required monthly, along with your regular rent. In this case, you would be paying more per month for a pet friendly apartment. 

When budgeting, it’s also important to consider possible vet bills, cost of pet food, daycare services, and even grooming costs. Having a pet can be expensive, so it’s important to figure out these costs when looking for a pet friendly apartment.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE A LARGE OR RESTRICTED DOG BREED

If you have a large or restricted dog breed, more than the maximum number of allowed pets, or exotic pets, finding a pet friendly apartment will be more difficult, but still possible.

Rentals with independent landlords may be more flexible and willing to work with you on accommodating your pet and their needs. You can also provide information on your pet to the landlord, including a picture and information on training, their traits, personality, and vaccinations.

Having renters insurance with a company that provides for all breeds could also increase your chances of finding the right place. When meeting with a potential landlord, bring proof of this insurance, as it shows you’ll be better able to protect them as the property owner.

Lastly, you could offer to pay a larger deposit, which may lessen concerns a landlord may have about your pet. This also shows responsibility, and that you’re determined to care for your pet.

STEPS TO FINDING A GREAT PET FRIENDLY APARTMENT

When you start your search for pet friendly apartments in Saraland, always check out the “Amenities” section of any website. This will generally list whether the community is pet friendly, and can expand upon their specific pet policies. If you still have questions, reach out to the community directly to learn more. 

La Maison is a pet friendly apartment community with an on-site dog park, nearby park, and nearby veterinary care clinic. For more specific questions about our pet policies, feel free to give us a call at (251) 227-8654 or visit our website.