Maybe you’ve had a pet previously in your life or you were simply that kid that always begged their parents for one, bringing home stray dogs and cats. And now, as an adult, you want a furry friend again, really badly.
Being a tenant, you will need your landlord’s permission and this will require some tact to prove to them that you’re a responsible adult who’s respectful of their property. Even if it seems like a no-go in the beginning (because many landlords have bad experiences with people they’ve previously rented to), with time, you can build your reputation – the key is to show yourself as a very valuable tenant whom they can trust, and once you have that, you’re in the right position to be asking a favor like this one.
Obviously. If you’re the type of person that needs reminding to be polite, do focus on this very hard – it’s beyond important. Make a good first impression and be kind and respectful in all situations. This also means that you should be a decent neighbor. Especially if a problem arises, stay calm and work with your landlord on resolving it in the most efficient way possible – you will be admired for it.
Always pay rent on time
To stay on your landlord’s good side, don’t even be a day late, ever. Changing tenants is usually stressful for landlords, mostly because they fear getting someone who seems fine but then must be chased around for payment. So if you follow the agreement on paying rent, they’ll want you to stay there for as long as possible – and this will be crucial when the time comes for them to decide to let you bring in a pet.
Establish solid communication
If there is a problem, report it right away, in order to save everybody’s time and prevent it from worsening. If you’ve broken something or clogged up the pipes (it happens more often than you think, according to Landlordology ), don’t lie about it, but take responsibility. Don’t be intimidated, because accidents happen and your landlord will be thankful that you’ve told the truth and made their job easier, and I’m saying this from experience. Being honest, reliable, and fair will make them respect and value you as a tenant. Once you’ve established a relationship of trust and understanding, it won’t be uncomfortable for either of you when you ask straightforwardly for what you want.
Show that you’re tidy and respectful of their property
When someone is generally messy and doesn’t keep a clean home, it only gets worse when they have a furry animal, often resulting in neighbors complaining about suspicious smells and landlords having to replace carpets entirely. So, go the extra mile to assure them it won’t come to this, and get friends or professionals to assist you if you don’t have time. Whenever I had my landlord come over to fix or look into something, I knew in advance and I prepared for the visit substantially, cleaning everything from top to bottom and occasionally even getting Ryan’s window cleaning to help me out with an entire wall of smudgy glass, which scored me some major points. It’s all about presentation.
Find out in advance how they might feel about the idea
Okay, so now that you’ve established a good reputation, let’s get down to business. This is the part where you need to be a bit, well, sneaky, in order to avoid being surprised if it turns out your landlord is strictly against pets on their property. Chat with them a bit, maybe they have a dog or a cat at home (this would definitely be a green light for you). Or, the easiest thing you could do – call them up and ask if it would be okay to have a pet in your place just for a couple of days, as a favor for a friend. (It doesn’t have to feel cringy and deceitful, especially considering we just talked about honesty and trust – get yourself into that situation for real if you know anyone with a pet.) Consider it a test run for what’s coming.
The actual convincing
The moment has come! Be straightforward, polite and calm, and preferably do it in person. Whatever you say, don’t approach them like a flustered child who is expecting to be turned down. Be prepared and have specific answers to all the possible questions, which will be much easier if you know which animal to get already. For example, if you want to get a dog, you need to have answers to how it will be trained properly so there’s no damage to property or complaints of barking. Also, knowing which specific pet you want lets you play the cute card and show them a picture to help visualize what a great idea this is. Remind them of your qualities as a tenant and a responsible adult to help them make the decision to your benefit – people like to be assured.
As you can see from these suggestions, the greater part of convincing is actually done gradually, and for months in advance. When it comes to the moment of asking them, you may find it was incredibly easy to get a „yes“. Or maybe they turn you down because they simply adhere to a very strict policy. If this turns out to be the case, the most important thing is that you have done everything in your power and been an exemplary tenant. Don’t take it personally. If you still want that furry pet so badly, don’t give up - maybe it’s time to move to another place.