Nearly 3 in 4 Renters Live With 4-Legged Friends

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A new survey found that although pet ownership among renters is high, finding pet-friendly apartments can be difficult.

Finding an apartment that’s accommodating to Fido can be a challenge.

But that’s not stopping a whopping 72 percent of renters from owning a four-legged friend (or two), according to a new survey on pet-friendly rental trends from Apartments.com.

The survey revealed a nearly 30 percentage point increase in renters with pets since 2012.

“In response to the increased demand for pet-friendly apartments over the past two years, we see the rental industry moving toward accommodating the needs of this important and growing segment of renters with flexible pet policies and new construction of apartment buildings that offer a variety of amenities for renters who own pets,” Tammy Kotula, public relations and promotions manager for Apartments.com, said in a press release.

Nearly 90 percent of survey respondents said the pet policy at their apartment played a big role in their decision to live there. And 64 percent of renters reported having difficulties finding a rental that would allow their furry friends.

According to the Humane Society of the United States, if you’re looking for a pet-friendly rental, you sometimes have to promote yourself and your animal. The Humane Society said responsible pet owners make great renters:

Because they must search harder for a place to live, pet caregivers are more likely to stay put. Lower vacancy rates mean lower costs and fewer headaches for landlords and real estate agents. Let prospective landlords and managers know that you understand that living with a companion animal is a privilege, not a right.

If you’re a pet owner, chances are you’ll have to pony up for a deposit for your four-legged friend. Apartments.com found that 80 percent of pet owners paid a pet deposit in 2014, up from 60 percent in 2013. Half of respondents said their pet deposit was more than $200.

Other survey highlights include:

  • More than half of renters with pets said they got their animals through a shelter, adoption or rescue agency.
  • Cats (41 percent) narrowly beat out small dogs (39 percent) as the pet of choice for renters. Nearly 35 percent of renters said they own a medium- to large-sized dog.
  • About 80 percent of pet-loving renters surveyed said their apartment neighbors either like animals or are indifferent to pets living in the building, which aligns rather closely with the views of renters who don’t have pets.
  • Nineteen percent of renters surveyed this year said they reside in a building with no restrictions on what pets they are allowed to have, down from nearly 30 percent in 2013.

The survey results came from the more than 3,000 renters polled by Apartments.com.

One of my friends is searching for a pet-friendly apartment for herself, her fiancé and their two cats. She’s searched the classifieds and Craigslist and so far hasn’t had any luck finding a two- to three-bedroom rental that fits their needs.

Are you a renter who owns pets? Was it challenging to find a pet-friendly rental? Share your experiences below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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Read Next: How to Care for Your Pets After You’re Gone

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