Moving & Apartment-Hunting, Pets

Looking to Rent With Pets? Sell Yourself!

How To Renting with PetsPrior to falling in love at first sight, I hadn’t planned to share our experience of moving.  But since this is, after all, The Borrowed Abode, I think we should share our experiences finding a rental home.

Now that we know our pets may be the only obstacle between us and our next “borrowed” abode, we’ve prepared a letter to share with all prospective landlords and realtors.  Ryan and I put our heads together last night and realized that we’re awesome tenants.  Here’s the scoop:

Dear Prospective Landlord,

We are a professional couple in search of a temporary home to call our own for 2-3 years in the Vienna, VA area.  Here’s a little bit about us:

For the past two years I’ve rented a small condo in the Del Ray area of Alexandria, but my boyfriend and I are now looking to move to a single family home close to work.  Vienna is our primary choice because of its small-town feel, and its proximity to the W&OD trail and our Tysons Corner and Reston offices.

We’d like to ask you to please consider renting to us.  We do have two 50 pound dogs and one cat.  In addition to the security deposit, we are prepared  to offer a significant pet deposit, as we know that the pets can be worrisome to a prospective landlord.

Additionally, please consider the following:

  • Our approach to renting: Ryan and I believe in caring for a rental home as if it were our own, and take the care and maintenance of both the interior and the exterior it very seriously.   We always pay our rent on time.  If you have a moment to visit my blog, The Borrowed Abode, you will see that my primary hobby is blogging about interior design and home improvement in my rented home.
  • Our dogs: Our dogs, ages 8 and 12, are very well trained, and have never caused any type of damage in any home they have lived in.  Both have been trained to step on a footstool to look out the window, rather than jump up on window sills (a common problem with many dogs).  I keep their nails trimmed short to avoid problems with hardwood floors, and they are crate trained.  They have lived with me in spaces as small as a 600 square foot condo, and all previous landlords can provide excellent references.
  • Our cat: Our cat is older, very friendly, litter-box trained, and likes to go outside on walks with the dogs.
  • Pet hygiene: As a former veterinary hospital manager, I take animal health and hygiene seriously.  All our pets remain on flea preventative year-round, and are de-wormed biannually as recommended by the CDC.
  • Landscaping: We enjoy gardening and landscaping work.  We would keep the exterior of the home clean and attractive, and would be interested in planting flowers/bulbs to increase the curb appeal (if permitted).

We can provide excellent landlord references, if you would like to contact any of them with questions about their experience renting to us with our pets.


So what do you guys think?  Would you want to rent to us?  I know we would!

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  • Reply Jeannine @ Small and Chic at 11:52 am

    Now I want to rent my place to you. 🙂

  • Reply Bill at 12:03 pm

    If you include a copy of your most recent pay with SSN redacted stub they like that.

  • Reply Melissa at 1:03 pm

    looks good, except i might say something besides “old-fashioned” because maybe they don’t see the place that way. good luck!

  • Reply Kelly at 1:04 pm

    I have to admit, I really love the idea of the sell sheet to tackle this problem. Landlords should be so lucky as to have tenants with such an eye for design and desire to “spiff things up.” 🙂 I’ve got crossed fingers and I’m sending good vibes your way.

  • Reply Amber at 1:56 pm

    Sounds good. However, include the list of previous landlords rather than offering to provide it. That will make the prospective landlords feel a little more comfortable

  • Reply Erin at 5:28 pm

    I would definitely rent to you!!! Maybe I need to come up with a similar letter when I start searching…

  • Reply Tim at 8:36 pm

    I would include the previous landlord references and maybe even a statement from them that mentions the pets.

  • Reply Lhoward at 10:28 pm

    Thanks for posting this and sending me the link…I’ll use it for inspiration in crafting a letter to our current landlords about wanting another dog. You really hit ’em from all sides!

  • Reply Brittany at 3:17 pm

    This seriously made my day. What a genius idea!!! Thank you so much!!!

  • Reply 525,600 minutes…. « @Homew/B at 2:52 pm

    […] the inside out. But, with so many thanks to the wonderful blogosphere I came across Jane’s post over at The Borrowed Abode where she suggested an alternative to window shopping […]

  • Reply Xocieira at 8:25 pm

    Hi, I just discovered your blog and I appreciate it so much! What about the renters, right?
    Anyway, I just wanted to share a few tips that worked for us in our recent hunt. After having our applications turned down twice on awesome places, we decided that we wouldn’t take a chance when we found THE ONE. It’s very competitive in the Bay Area and when you find something you want, you need to move fast and without any hiccups. We had a cover letter similar to this, written referrals, a “pet resume”, pet referrals, pay stubs, bank statements, credit reports, and rent ledgers all in a tidy packet to hand to the landlord with our application. Sound like overkill? Maybe, but it got us the next place we applied for in less than 2 days, beating out two other applicants by a landslide. They also waived the application fee since we gave them all the information they needed. 
    So I say when you find the perfect home, leave nothing to chance!

    • Reply Jane @ The Borrowed Abode at 11:58 pm

      Wow! That’s awesome – and I’m so glad you were able to get the place you wanted! I totally agree, when you have pets and you find the perfect place, you’ve gotta go all out to get it! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  • Reply Lyn at 12:57 pm

    That’s a fascinating and novel approach. Did it work?

    • Reply Jane at 8:16 pm

      Hi Lyn – It totally worked! It was amazing. I had a ton of emails after I posted it, all from landlords wanting to rent their houses to us and our pets. We ended up finding a fantastic, renovated house and 4 years later we’re still in it, and the landlord is still awesome.

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