Tenant tips: Renting with pets

Some landlords and rental property management firms may avoid renting to tenants who have a dog, cat or other pet, fearing damage to the apartment and the expenses involved in repairs. Others may charge higher rent, require a larger security deposit, or otherwise seek compensation for the perceived additional risk.

According to MSN Real Estate, it's common for 75 percent of apartment listings to specify that pets are not permitted or restrict prospective tenants to dogs under 25 pounds.

Despite this, MSN recommends renters try to understand the manager's perspective and help them identify responsible pet owners. Some landlords who do not wish to have pets may reconsider if offered an additional deposit or if the tenant purchases an appropriate renters insurance policy.

Pet owners can also use references from former landlords or neighbors to support their pet's good behavior. A similar, but more involved option is to assemble a resume for the pet in question. According to the Doris Day Animal League, such as resume could include any obedience school or special training, history living in apartments and arrangements made when the owner goes out of town. Cleanliness and health may also be worth mentioning.