If you live in an apartment and your friends or family members want to swing by for a visit with their dog (or drop them off for a little while), you may be wondering whether your apartment will allow that.
It’s a common enough occurrence, so it’s a good idea to know where you stand.
In this article, I am going to answer whether you can have a dog visit your apartment and cover some of the rules and other factors you will want to consider when faced with this situation. I’ll go step by step through each part of the process, so you can have a successful visit from your canine friend.
If you don’t have the time to read through it all, here’s a short answer to the question:
You can have a dog visit your apartment if your lease and apartment’s policies allow it. To prevent any misunderstandings, it’s a good idea to check with management and make sure that you follow applicable rules and guidelines around the visit.
Ok, let’s get into it.
The information contained in this post is for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice. You should seek the advice of a qualified legal professional before making any decisions relating to the topics covered by this article.
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Check Your Lease
As with most matters relating to your tenancy, the first place you want to check is your lease agreement. Many of them prohibit pets altogether, or impose limitations based on the types of breed, or the dog’s size or weight.
You need to read the wording carefully though – it may apply only to having a full time pet and not a visiting animal. That being said, your landlord may be surprised (and not in a good way) if they find out you have had a huge dog who has been “visiting” your apartment for months and has torn it apart, been marking constantly, or even attacked another tenant.
You don’t want to find yourself in that situation, so use common sense and honor what you and the landlord agreed to in the lease (both in the letter and spirit of the agreement).
Consult with Property Management If You’re Unsure
If your lease is silent on the issue of dog visits or it is unclear, the best way to prevent future issues is to check with your property manager around whether a dog visit is allowed.
Many times, they will have a clear policy around this topic, even if it is not spelled out in the lease (and the lease may reference the policy and bind you to it). If there are any restrictions around visits (including time, frequency, breed, and the like), then make sure you abide by them.
Consider Whether the Visit Makes Sense For the Dog and You
Even if your lease and apartment policies allows dogs to visit, you should look at whether the visit makes sense for the dog and for you. For example, if you live in a tiny studio apartment and the dog is a huge outdoor dog who is not used to indoor living, then you may want to reconsider whether the visit makes sense.
It could cause the dog a lot of stress and that could cause it to act up. Not a great situation for you either, since you may be on the hook for any damage the dog causes to the apartment.
Also, if the dog has aggressive tendencies or barks a lot, you may want to decline that visit. Again, you can be on the hook for any attacks by the dog on other tenants (or their pets) or noise complaints generated by the dog’s barking.
Make Sure You Are Prepared For the Visit
Ok, so you have done all your homework and determined that the visit is allowed and won’t cause serious issues. Here are some tips for making sure your visit with the dog goes smoothly and without incident.
Have the Right Supplies on Hand
Even the best trained dogs can make mistakes in an unfamiliar environment. Make sure you have on hand the right supplies to handle them. Have poop bags, cleaning sprays, and plenty of paper towels on hand to handles any messes.
If the owner doesn’t bring toys for the dog to play with, you may want to have a few old items handy for the dog to chew on or fetch. Here are some cool DIY ideas for dog toys made from everyday items.
Monitor and Keep the Dog Under Control
Once the dog is in your place, you need to exercise some responsibility over them. Keep a careful eye on what they are doing and if they are acting out or seem stressed or unhappy, take steps to remedy the situation.
Maybe you can take them out for a walk or to a local park to get some exercise (again be mindful of whether those areas permit dogs).
Bottom line: Don’t let the visiting dog damage your apartment or do anything else that could jeopardize your tenancy. Keeping a sharp eye on them and taking proactive steps when you see things potentially going sideways is the best way to protect yourself.
Take into account the dog’s behavior and temperament when inviting them over. If they are well trained and used to apartment-like environments, there is less risk that they will cause issues.
But if they are turning out to be difficult to control, you will need to return them to their rightful owner.
So make sure that this is clear and that you always have the option to give back the dog if the visit is not turning out well.
If you have neighbors that you think will be bothered by a dog in your apartment, you can politely let them know that the animal will be visiting and it will not be a permanent thing.
By showing consideration and courtesy to your neighbors, you will keep a good relationship with them and that’s always a positive when you are living in relatively close quarters with them.
So there you have it – a clear answer to whether a dog can visit your apartment and some helpful tips to make that visit a great one. Hope this has been helpful and happy renting!