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  1. #1
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    Experiences with moving out with animals?

    I've always had pets, and always will, but as of now I still live with my parents. Someday (hopefully relatively soon) I will strike out on my own, but lately I've started to worry about how difficult it could be to find a place, namely apartments, that accepts "unconventional" pets (i.e. not a dog or cat). Have heard too many stories about people suddenly having to rehome their animals because "the landlord doesn't like them" or more harrowing stories like GoHerping on YouTube who flat out got harassed out of his rental house just because he had reptiles. I'll obviously do a ton of research when the time for apartment hunting comes as I have no intention of giving up my crew, but it's something that's been on my mind lately.

    Any anecdotes, tips and advice from you fine folks regarding that aspect of entering a new phase of life?

  2. #2
    Registered User Spicey's Avatar
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    Stay away from HOA's, lol. I'd say your best bet is a cheaper apartment because the more expensive places tend to have more rules about pets and not care that your pet can't get out and scratch up the walls, tear down the window treatments or pee on the carpet. Make sure the landlord knows you have reptiles. If they don't allow it, don't move there. My experience is that most smaller places don't really care if you have containered animals, but you never know. And you might run into a landlord who is a total herpetophile. Ask local people who have snakes and live in apartments what they would recommend.
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  4. #3
    Registered User Luvyna's Avatar
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    I am roughly at the "moving out" stage (stalled right now by Covid) and my experience so far is this: an absolute nightmare. Decent rentals are already very hard to come by where I live because of how expensive housing is. When you throw any pets into the mix (even non-exotic ones) the options that are affordable, close to transportation/work, and not super low-quality are pretty much non-existent. Finding a snake-friendly rental is even harder because many people are terrified of them and the moment you bring up having a snake, they will peg you as a creepy weirdo and won't be inclined to let you rent.

    My advice is this:

    - Discuss your long-term plans with your family. If you need to temporarily move somewhere else for college or work or live in a "no pets" apartment for a few years, would they be okay with taking care of your pet(s) in this time? Would you be okay with being apart from them? There's a possibility that you won't immediately be able to afford or find a place to rent that allows pets when first moving out.

    - Decide on your priorities. You will probably need to choose between having pets and having a nice apartment that is close to transportation, your workplace, and other amenities. I know people who have made renting with pets work but they had to make a lot of other sacrifices including longer commutes and sometimes living in basements for years.

    - Think about where you want to live or work in the future and have back-up plans in case this changes later. If you want to experience living in different countries or move to a different place in the future, moving your pets with you may be a challenge. Snakes in particular are hard to transport long distances because you can't take them in a plane's cabin with you like you can a cat or dog. You will need to either drive your snake or ship them in cargo. Species like BPs also require a CITES permit to go to different countries (and are outright banned in some areas) which further complicates things.

    - Spicey had some good points - finding smaller, cheaper apartments that may be further away or renting in someone's home is often the best way to go. I don't think lying about having pets a good approach (and it can often spell disaster) but you'll want to approach the topic of having a snake cautiously with prospective landlords. I have read elsewhere that one method is to ask landlords if they are okay with "pets in a tank" like fish, reptiles, turtles...etc. without saying snake outright and getting that included in the lease. However, it may be better to be forthright about having a snake to avoid a situation where the landlord wants to throw you out after discovering your pet. This really depends on the situation and the person you're dealing with and you'll need to use your own judgment about how to best proceed.

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  6. #4
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    Do not lie to your landlord, even by omission, or attempt to hide your snakes. I ended up with a free retic b/c someone else tried that.

    In addition to looking for apartments look for roommate rentals. A homeowner who rents out a room and who permits pets may be more open to a tenant having a snake as long as it's kept in your bedroom. If you feed f/t plan on keeping a small dorm-type freezer in your room for the rats.

  7. #5
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    Simple, read the lease. No pets means I donít rent from you. Tons of places allow pets, but youíll pay a pet ďfeeĒ. Normally one-two months rent or a cleaning fee.

    Send an email to several rental agencies in the area you are looking at. Tell them you want ďpet friendly ď only. They will send you a list. Realtors donít want to waste time, they want your money. No reason to show you ten places if your dog, cat, snake or kids arenít allowed.

    Some give up their pets because they care more about where they live or who they are with. I got my best English Bulldog because he farted an snored. The guys new bride didnít like it so off to the pound he went.

    Now, advice you donít want. Stay at home as long as you can! Save your money! Itís scary out here

    Other things to remember when you move. Youíll need a Vet, renters insurance, your own Docs an everything your leaving at home.

    Since I left home Iíve moved over thirty times. HOAís are worse then some landlords. Read the lease or contracts before you commit. Thinking you can sneak a pet in wonít end well for all involved.


    Good luck!

  8. #6
    Registered User wnateg's Avatar
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    I used to live in an apartment with all my animals, and I did not tell them about it. I do not recommend that, I had a gnawing feeling on the back of my mind about whether or not I'd be caught lol

    Then one day, the maintenance man had to come into my apartment to fix something. Turns out, he loved snakes!
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  9. #7
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    If possible I'll have a work-at-home or otherwise self-employed situation (with the current craziness I'm somewhat biding my time and just earning some extra cash here and there where I can, don't have a dedicated job at the time of writing hence why this topic is more "hypothetical" in nature rather than an imminent event) so hopefully the commune issue won't factor in much.

    Already aware to avoid HOAs especially after the above mentioned GoHerping incident, and given what my budget will likely be I wouldn't be looking for a fancy apartment in the first place. Won't necessarily want to live in a building that's literally falling apart but I don't mind more run-down conditions as long as the neighborhood itself isn't a crackden or something (though I'm rural anyway so hopefully that'd be an easier issue to avoid than normal).

    As for lying/omitting/sneaking, not only is that not in my nature but it wouldn't be possible anyway since I also have a bird (green-cheek conure). He's quiet 90% of the time but he'd be heard eventually and the jig would be up.

    What would be super ideal would be to board a shared rental with roommates, but to this day I'm not entirely sure how such a process works plus I have no friends that would make such a process easier (i.e. you're at least somewhat familiar with who's bunking with you).

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    I found that in my area(and it will vary from area to area). That larger complexes will have more rules and regulations and the company that owns the building is more likely to be more strict about the rules on paper. You do NOT want to be caught with pets not on the lease and undisclosed, especially if the manager fears them, which is a common case with snakes.

    I personally ended up renting in an older, out of the way slightly rundown 50 unit complex of a small company with a chill manager. When I went in for the tour and to apply I asked "Are reptiles allowed?" and he had replied "yeah as long as its in its cage most of the time". I didn't mention that I was moving in with three snakes, or that I was in the process of purchasing a 4th, I said nothing about how big they were gonna get or what species they were. On paper, I only have one cat, and nothing in the lease forbids caged pets.
    He's been in several times. I keep the place clean, I pay my rent, I'm not difficult. I'm pretty sure he knows about my second cat, the one not on the lease, but he hasn't said anything about it. Anywho, back on topic.

    In my experience in asking around, if I mentioned "python" and then said "oh it gets x long but it can't even harm a small dog" I often got a "ummm no". The lack of education and immediate unknown and fear factor from a lot of managers is what draws that no from people in the first place.

    My original plan, before I found my rental was to create a folder, with details about my current reptiles, how I'm keeping them, what size food they were eating, what they were eating and what safety measures I was taking to ensure they would not be a problem. Locking cages etc etc. Complete with pictures and such to show that they really are not large dangerous animals. I never got that far because realistically I knew I didn't have much of a chance with larger complexes and with FOUR snakes I wasn't about to lie about what animals I'm keeping. All I need is for a maintenance guy to come in, see my four giant apcages, and boom either the snakes go, or I do.

    So my advice is to look for smaller complexes, or as you were thinking, multi-tenant rentals where you're more likely to run into someone who is a little lenient about the rules. Or is more reasonable because they understand that your 1700g snake is not likely to cause any damage to a unit, while even the most well behaved dog or cat is still going to cause some wear and tear and require a cleaning before the next tenant.
    Smaller places you're less likely to run into practices where they like to have a higher in-out rental turnover because deposits and move-in costs bring in the $$$$. Larger places will also likely find any reason to kick you out if they think they can rent your unit for much more with a new tenant. If you move in with your reptiles and are given the "ok" they are a liability as a reason to get kicked out for "violating the lease" later on when its convenient.

    Smaller complexes usually are not trying to make lives difficult, turnover is lower, they benefit from having long-time stable renters, because its hard for them to turn over a new unit. If you prove out to be a good renter, good history, good income, not a liability you may find you might get some leeway with a few house rules.
    Last edited by ClarinetPhoenix; 11-20-2020 at 05:06 AM.
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  12. #9
    BPnet Senior Member CloudtheBoa's Avatar
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    I moved straight out of my mom's house in with my current SO who already had a rental established. I have never found my own place to live, and now that me and my SO have been faced with that chore...it's proven very difficult to find affordable housing, even without the pets. Without them, I have a handful of options, but I'm really trying to avoid that. I also am in the unfortunate position of living in a home that is literally falling apart because that comes with the territory of having a limited budget. The landlord will fix the issues no problem so far, but his "fixing" has been cutting out bad wood and putting particle board over the holes. So waiting for the day they lose strength...The benefits are he makes no comments on our animals, and we have "stable" housing. Only issue is we don't know what will happen when our trailer is no longer livable. Our only option seems to be to find a way to buy housing if we can find an affordable house locally - we already tried to look for a place to buy out of state for over a year.

    My mother has been off and on homeless for the past year because rentals here are almost nonexistent, especially at the budget she can afford. Around here, you pretty much have to know somebody to get a place. As Luvyna said, it's an absolute nightmare, and it was this way for us before covid. Before, we wanted to buy a place kinda out of the way to get out of the city, even if we had a bit of a commute. At this point, I'd almost kill to rent a fully furnished basement where I could still have my animals, and that was affordable. But people want to rent a single bedroom with shared amenities around here for $500-600+/month. It's ridiculous.
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  14. #10
    Registered User Luvyna's Avatar
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    Re: Experiences with moving out with animals?

    Quote Originally Posted by Snagrio View Post
    What would be super ideal would be to board a shared rental with roommates, but to this day I'm not entirely sure how such a process works plus I have no friends that would make such a process easier (i.e. you're at least somewhat familiar with who's bunking with you).
    Sharing a house with other roommates definitely cuts costs a lot!

    I have had the most success finding rentals like this on Facebook. Just type "<your city here> rentals and roommates" on Facebook and there will be groups for people looking for roommates and offering or seeking places to rent. Typically when you find someone offering a place for rent, you message them with a brief introduction about yourself and the lease term you are looking for (it usually helps to also mention things that would make you a preferable tenant, like being a non-smoker, quiet, being a student/stable full-time worker...etc).

    You can either find someone to look for housing with in the group, or just find a room in a shared house and the landlord will fill in the other rooms. It's not always a bad thing to rent with strangers since I know several people who have destroyed friendships by living together and discovering their lifestyles drive each other crazy. The challenge in your case will be finding roommates in addition to a landlord who is okay with your pets.

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