Having a pet is amazing, but trying to find a new pet friendly place to rent in Vancouver is already difficult and overly expensive. A quick look on Craigslist shows that there are 7350 units under $2500/month posted for rent in the Vancouver area today. Only 1625 (22%) of those allow dogs and 1521 (20.7%) allow cats.
According to CTV news, there are over 1500 cats & dogs are turned over every year across the province due to people that cannot find pet friendly rentals.
If you are searching for a new pet friendly rental in Vancouver (or anywhere really), here are a few tips to help you get started.
Give yourself extra time, it takes time
Trying to find a new place to rent is already time-consuming enough, but when trying to find a place with a pet, it’s immensely hard and can be overly stressful. Make sure to give yourself plenty of time. I would start looking when you have around 2 months left of your current lease, or sooner even.
Promote pet. Offer to let owner meet pet, or provide pictures
When talking to a potential new landlord, provide pictures of your pet. Promote the pet, brag about how well behaved it is (assuming that it is well behaved and trained). When you go to visit the place for the first time, offer to bring the pet so the potential landlord can meet the pet and see for themselves how awesome your pet is!
Has your pet had any professional training? Let the potential new landlord know and provide documentation.
Be WIlling to pay a little bit more or provide an extra deposit
Some landlords are a bit cautious in allowing pets into their rentals and may consider charging you more. I’ve personally come across a few different scenarios like this. I had one landlord ask for a $1000 floor damage deposit (got it all back when I moved out.). Many places in Vancouver will ask for an extra ½ month’s refundable damage deposit which makes sense. I’ve seen a few places also ask for $50 – $100 extra a month, per pet, which isn’t refundable.
Be honest, don't sneak pet in
I’ve heard of a few people talking about sneaking in their pets. This is never a good idea! Even if you do manage to sneak the pet in, what happens during the annual fire inspection, suite inspection or when something breaks or if the manager sees you with pet food or there’s a water leak and the manager needs to enter for emergency purposes?
When you do get caught, you could be in violation of a no-pet rule and may be subject to eviction or other legal actions. And now you just lost a potential future reference.
Contact places that don't mention about pets.
When you do your search, leave off the “pets allowed” filters and look at places that make no mention of pets. One place I rented in Surrey in 2016 didn’t allow pets, but I emailed the owner through Craigslist telling her how I work from home and both my pets are very well behaved and trained (Promote the pet!). After she met us, she has more than happy to have us.
Consider a Suite
Apartments in Vancouver are all under the Strata (as far as I know), which usually have a 2 pet policy if they allow pets at all. Some of the policies are a bit unusual too. I’ve seen one place allow 2 dogs or cats, but not 1 cat and dog together. And many places have a weight restriction.
Another option is to look at renting a suite. Houses with a basement or upstairs suites are usually more willing to allow pets, especially if you have a larger dog.
Hope these tips will help you find the next place you call home for you and your pet. If you have any of your own tips on finding a pet friendly place, leave them in the comments below.