Finding housing with a pet (or service animal)
If you have a pet, or are planning on it, there are a few things you’ll need to consider when looking for housing. Many rental spaces have rules and regulations around pets, including additional deposits, fees, or weight and breed restrictions.
When touring a rental space, make sure you’ll have the space for things like their bed, food and water dishes, and a place to take them outside if they need it. If you’re planning on having roommates, lay out the ground rules for who will care for the pet, what the expectations are for pet behavior, and whether the pet is allowed in the roommates’ rooms or on the furniture.
What if I have an assistance animal?
According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, “An assistance animal is an animal that works, provides assistance, or performs tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability, or that provides emotional support that alleviates one or more identified effects of a person’s disability.” The Fair Housing Act requires a housing provider to allow a reasonable accommodation involving an assistance animal in situations that meet a few conditions. Read more here.
Basically this means that if you have a legitimate service, assistance or emotional support animal, you must be reasonably accommodated in most housing situations. Some fees and restrictions may be waived, like pet policies, or weight or breed restrictions. For more information about service animals, check out this guide from the Humane Society of the United States.
Wondering if you’re ready for a pet? We’ve got you covered with this post that will help you determine if adding a pet to your life is the right choice for you.