The Trials and Tribulations of a Renter with a Rent in Downtown DC
I have been searching for rental homes for people in this area for many years and my biggest challenge has been people who have pets. The calls start something like, “Hi, I am wondering if you would accept a nice dog named Beauregard in your two bedroom. Oh, and he comes with two nice people. How many pounds, well 150, but he is on this new doggie diet and walking program. He has references from his last landlord. He sleeps all day. He has a resume. Oh, I understand. Thank you for your time. If you change your mind, here’s my number. Please call.
There are so many landlords who have had so many bad experiences with pets in this area. They don’t have anything against pets. They have replaced expensive floors, carpets, walls and baseboards. This doesn’t make life easy if you have a pet and you are trying to rent in the District. The responses I have gotten about pets have been amazing. I had a client with an older dog who slept most of the time. A very quiet older dog, with references from the prior landlords. I presented this dog to a woman with a rental. She replied, “ There are so many dogs in this area that are unconscious.“
I had a client with a cat. One of the properties I called explained that there had been a tenant of his with a cat once. The woman had been living in the apartment for years. There was no litter box for the cat. He explained that he was sorry for all the other cat owners, but he just couldn’t take the risk.
I have come across some amazing pets. There was a woman with a dog that had a resume. The dog would go into rest homes and hospitals and interact with older people and sick people. Apparently he had a wonderful impact with these people. He was a working dog. I had another client who cats where leased trained and came with references from three prior landlords. I had another client who had a former show dog. There was one person who belonged to a Basset Hound. These dogs are not fast movers; they usually don’t get into very much trouble or make much noise. The difficulty was, there places that would rent to pets less than thirty-five pounds, but no more. The Bassett Hound’s person gave me a picture that made the dog appear thinner. The dog was about five pounds over the average 35-pound limit. I finally found a landlord that would take her; the dog’s person was honest about the weight. It ended working well for everyone. The Bassett Hound lived there for a couple years quite happily.
There a few things I would recommend to people with pets that are looking to rent in the District. I would love to have a dog in my building. I have tried to think of ways to smuggle a dog in disguised as a baby. My plan was to ward off questions from people by explaining that my child is quite hairy and very sensitive about it. I haven’t tried it and I won’t. I want a big dog. I don’t recommend this plan. Get references from prior landlords. If it’s possible offer to have your pet meet the prospective landlord. If your dog has been trained, get the trainer to talk to the landlord. If you have a dog walker or a cat caretaker (and you should if you are not around or have to travel) have that person talk to the landlord. Make the best case possible for you and your pet. When you find a happy situation for both you and your pet, stay there until you are ready to become a homeowner.