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Breed Restrictions: What Should You Know When Renting with Pets?

Pets are family and your four-legged buddies are a big factor in major decisions, including renting an apartment. The entire process of searching for the perfect place, applying and anxiously waiting to get approved can become even more of a struggle if the apartment building you’re trying to move into has breed restrictions.

However, there are ways to avoid the disappointment of getting rejected because of your pet. We’ve put together a simple guide to help you understand how apartment breed restrictions work so that you can make sure your doggo can tag along whenever you decide to move.

What are apartment breed restrictions?

Breed restrictions are rules that prohibit certain aggressive dogs from many properties. There’s a high number of dog breeds found on the restricted lists because landlords want to avoid liability as well as any possible damage to the property. In fact, many insurance companies require breed restrictions in order to insure a multifamily dwelling. Since not all pets are properly trained, some might even turn out to be a danger to other pets or residents living there. Therefore, the simplest solution for property managers is to stay on the safe side and ban all aggressive breeds, regardless if the pet is trained or not.

The same goes for weight, size and age restrictions. If the property is not adequately prepared for certain breeds, the property manager may choose to ban them. This may even be out of the landlord’s hands, as many breed restrictions are policy decisions at the level of the property management company, insurance company or even the city or county. In Miami and New York, for example, you will be fined up to $500 for owning a pitt bull. Unless there’s a county or city ban, you can rest assured as not all properties make use of these lists. There are several no breed restriction apartments on the market that accept all types of fluffy little scoundrels.

Renting with pets - breed restrictions .

What dog breeds are considered aggressive?

Before you start searching for new apartments, it would be a good idea to first check what the law says in regard to pet restrictions. Also, find out what kind of pets are usually on the aggressive breed list for renters, especially if you have a pitbull or a cane corso, for example. Staffordshire terriers are also on the list, but careful not to confuse them with Yorkshire terriers which are practically toy-sized bundles of floof. Basically, all aggressive breeds and their mixes (ex: husky-pitbull mix, mastiff-pit bull mix, Doberman-pitbull mix) can be banned by certain apartment communities. Here’s a list of the most commonly banned breeds:

  • German shepherds
  • Pit bull terriers
  • Cane corsos
  • Rottweilers
  • Staffordshire terriers
  • Akitas
  • Mastiffs
  • Great Danes
  • Doberman pinschers

You might be wondering: are breed restrictions a good thing? Well, that’s debatable. Some would say that it’s a great way to prevent dangerous situations, but activists argue that it should depend on how the pet is raised and trained. Also, a negative impact of breed restrictions is that they can lead to pets being abandoned by their owners.

Renting with pets - breed restrictions

How to get around breed restrictions when renting?

Don’t get discouraged by breed restrictions as there are ways to make sure you can take your pet with you wherever you decide to move. For example, if the apartment breed restrictions are put into place by the landlord, a valid option would be to make your case and convince him/her that your dog is well-behaved and has been properly trained.

Prepare a pet resume when applying and add all relevant photos, videos and information there is to know about your fluffy friend. Also, go the extra mile and suggest a dog interview so that the landlord can meet your dog in person and realize that it doesn’t pose any danger to the property or to other residents.

If everything goes well and the pet gets accepted, you might also want to consider dog insurance to stay on the safe side and be covered in case the dog starts chewing the carpets or does any damage to the property.

Finding a home for you and your pet

All things considered, not everything is as gloomy as it looks when renting with a dog. You might get lucky and quickly find the perfect home that welcomes both you and your pet but it’s important to be ready for negative scenarios as well. Do your research before applying to avoid losing the application fee in case the property doesn’t accept certain dog breeds.

Ready to start your search? Head on over to RentCafe and browse through our various pet-friendly apartments.

Florentina Sarac
Florentina Sarac
Florentina Sarac is a creative writer, editor, and researcher for RENTCafé. She covers a variety of topics, from real estate trends, demographic shifts, housing industry news and multifamily construction to homeownership, smart-home technology, personal finance and business. With a 9-year background in the real estate industry, Florentina has also penned articles for publications such as Multi-Housing News, Commercial Property Executive and the National Apartment Association Magazine. You can connect with Florentina via email. Florentina’s work and expertise have been featured in several major U.S. and international publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Bisnow, The Mercury News, Curbed, The NY Post, CBS News, Business Insider and She holds a B.A. in English and Spanish, as well as an M.A. in Multilingual and Multicultural Communication, which serve as a testament to her love of literature and language.

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