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The Findigs Pet Parent's Guide to Renting

Published on
October 28, 2023
April 29, 2024
Written by
Findigs Team
Renter resources
An illustration of a woman walking with home items and animals.

Pets are part of the family, but when it comes to renting, our beloved animals present a unique set of new responsibilities. While rental communities in the U.S. are pet-friendlier than ever, animals can introduce liabilities and safety concerns for the property. Property managers use fees and restrictions to mitigate risk and offset costs of wear-and-tear. This can make the true cost of renting with pets even higher than the listing price—meanwhile, maintaining your pet’s healthy lifestyle comes with its own set of expenses.

So how do you ensure that your loyal dependents have a safe and comfortable home, while staying on the property’s good side, and keeping extra costs at bay? Here are our best tips and tricks for smooth renting in your pet-friendly new place.  

Dig into the policy details

Before you start your apartment or house hunt, it's essential to understand the rental policies and associated fees for pets. Listings may advertise “pet allowed,” but specific restrictions, fees, and lease clauses can vary immensely from one home to the next, even if the property has a general pet-friendly policy in place.

  • Look into restrictions. As you look for pet-friendly homes in your area, be sure to get clear on the rules for that particular unit. Common types of restrictions include caps on the amount of animals you have, restrictions on certain animals or dog breeds, and weight limitations.
  • Find out about pet fees. If the information isn’t readily available, ask the property manager about any pet-related fees, such as pet deposits, monthly pet rent, or non-refundable pet fees. It’s crucial to understand the full cost implications before deciding to rent a new place.
  • Review the lease thoroughly: Once you’re ready to sign for a new place, pay careful attention to any details related to pets in the lease agreement. Properties may include clauses about pet behavior, pet deposits, and penalties for violations. They may also require insurance to cover incidents like bites, or a pet insurance plan for your animal. With the safety of the community’s animals in mind, it’s crucial to know what you’re responsible for before move-in.

Safeguard your security deposit

Every pet owner knows that animals tend to leave their mark on the spaces they inhabit. Whether your property asks for one general security deposit, or collects a separate pet deposit specially for pet-related damage, taking steps to protect your rental can help increase your chances of getting your money back in full.

  • Inspect your new place. Before moving in, conduct a thorough inspection of the property. Document any existing damage and share this with your property manager to make sure you won't be held responsible for pre-existing issues.
  • Do what you can to prevent pet damage. While it may be impossible to prevent accidents, or to lose a shoe to a teething puppy, take note of ways you might be able to minimize pet damage. For example, a tired pet is less likely to engage in destructive behavior, so giving them lots of exercise and mental stimulation outside of the home will pay off in more ways than one.
  • Consider professional cleaning if needed. You may want to consider investing in professional cleaning services periodically, especially if you have carpets or upholstery that can trap pet odors. Here are some of the damage types to get ahead of before too late:
    • Carpet stains or lingering odors in the carpet
    • Scratched floors, doors, moldings, or walls
    • Chewed blinds, carpet, or baseboards
    • Abundance of pet hair

Get clear on coverage

A renters insurance policy that covers pets is not the same as pet insurance; understanding both can help you make sure you have the coverage you need. Think of it this way: renters insurance helps protect you if your pet were to—for example—bite a neighbor. Your pet, and the cost of caring for your pet’s health, is not covered. With pet insurance on the other hand, you may be looking at an opportunity to save money on essential care and vet visits that would otherwise be paid out-of-pocket.

  • Renters insurance primarily covers your personal belongings and liability for accidents that occur in your rental unit. While it may provide some coverage for pet-related incidents, it's essential to review the policy to understand its limitations.
  • Pet insurance is specifically designed to cover veterinary bills and medical expenses for your pet. It can help alleviate the financial burden of unexpected health issues, and help you say “yes” to the best possible care.

In both cases, there are multiple factors to consider: on top of what you want to secure, you’ll also want to adhere to any coverage requirements the property has in place (not doing so can result in fees, or worse). Findigs can help you understand what each type of coverage costs, along with the requirements set by your property.

Pick the right pet insurance for you

Pet insurance is a smart option for every pet parent, offering peace of mind that proper vet care can always be within reach. Whether you’re moving neighborhoods or states, choosing an extensive pet insurance provider will help ensure that care can be covered by any vet or clinic in the country.

Why pet insurance matters:

  • Extensive pet care: A solid pet insurance plan can cover a wide range of eligible veterinary expenses, from exam fees to emergency surgeries. Accidents and illnesses happen—with the right insurance plan, you can help get your pet back on their paws without hesitation.
  • Financial security: You should never have to choose between your pet's health and your wallet. Budgeting pet insurance into your monthly expenses gives you the assurance that if unexpected needs arise, you can help get your pet the care they need without breaking the bank.

There are a lot of options out there, so be sure to choose a pet insurance plan that suits your pet's specific needs and your budget. When it comes to providers, our pick of the litter is Pumpkin. Their plans are some of the most extensive you’ll find, and you’ll get up to 90% reimbursement for eligible vet bills.

Just like their owners, every pet and animal deserves to feel at home in their space. Animals who move with you from one place to another will inevitably take some time to get familiar with their surroundings, but in the meantime, you can take steps to make sure that extra fees, deposit losses, and pet care expenses don’t get in the way of a comfortable life for you or your animals. Understanding your rights and responsibilities as a resident are key to happily cohabitating with your four-legged family members.

Applying with Findigs? We’re here to help

With Findigs, applying to rent is more straightforward than ever; sending your information is finally secure, and decisions come back three times faster. When you verify pets through Findigs, you’ll always know exactly what pet policies pertain to you, before you send your application. You’ll also be notified about pet fees and deposits early, and we can help link you with essential coverage from partners like Pumpkin. Findigs is here to give renters a simpler way home. We can’t wait to help you—and your non-human roomies—settle into a place you love.

The information in this post may direct you to a third-party website. Findigs has no control over, and assumes no responsibility for, the content, accuracy, privacy policies, or practices of or opinions related to third-party services.
Pet Insurance is not underwritten by Findigs Insurance Services, LLC. Findigs utilizes an independent insurance agency, to refer consumers interested in pet coverage to Pumpkin. Findigs may receive compensation based on referred sales.
Pumpkin Pet Insurance policies do not cover pre-existing conditions. Waiting periods, annual deductible, co-insurance, benefit limits and exclusions may apply. For full terms, visit Products and rates may vary and are subject to change. Discounts may vary and are subject to change. Insurance products are underwritten by either Independence American Insurance Company, a Delaware insurance company (NAIC #2658; Scottsdale, AZ), or United States Fire Insurance Company (NAIC #21113; Morristown, NJ); and are administered and produced by Pumpkin Insurance Services Inc. (“Pumpkin”) (NPN #19084749; New York, NY; CA License #6001617). Please refer to your policy forms to determine your policy’s underwriter.
Pumpkin is a licensed insurance agency, not an insurer, and receives compensation based on the premiums for the insurance policies it sells. For more details, visit Pumpkin Preventive Essentials is not an insurance policy and not available in all states. It is offered as an optional add-on non-insurance benefit. Pumpkin is responsible for the product and administration. For full terms, visit

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