How do apartments verify dog breeds? Many apartment complexes have restrictions banning certain dog breeds known to be noisy, destructive, or violent.
If you’re renting an apartment, you want to know how the landlord or property manager determines if your dog is a good fit for the apartment. And if your dog happens to be on the ban list, you might be tempted to hide it from the apartment but this breaks the lease.
An apartment can use different methods to verify your dog’s breeds, which this publication reveals to help you make a good decision.
How do apartments verify dog breeds?
Instead of being misinformed and having your application rejected, consider beforehand if your dog meets these requirements apartments use to verify dog breeds:
1. Pet interviews
Most apartments will ask to meet your dog in an interview. An interview is the dog equivalent of a job interview, and it helps property owners properly assess a pet’s temperaments and suitability for the apartment. The apartment owner will examine if your dog is similar to the banned breeds.
Bringing your pet’s resume, along with their medical records and any other references, is a good idea, just like during job interviews. You’re your pet’s advocate, so it’s important to speak positively about their behavior and the role they play in your life.
If you have rented an apartment with your dog in the past, present the rental history to show your commitment to ensuring the property is clean and damage-free. Meanwhile, people do fake their rental history for an application approval though.
It is also advisable to offer to pay a non-refundable pet deposit to secure the apartment. You can also suggest holding the pet interview in a common area of the apartments so the property owner can see just how well your dog interacts with neighbors, children, and other pets.
2. Pet resume review
When you apply for an apartment with a dog, you’ll be asked for your pet’s resume. This resume is similar to the traditional resume that provides concise information about your dog, as well as highlights how suitable they are for a rented apartment.
Just make sure to include the essentials, including your dog’s:
- dates of vaccinations
- a recent photo and any available information
A pet resume gives personality to your dog and includes information about their hobbies and temperament. You want the resume to demonstrate why your dog will make a wonderful addition to the property. Make sure to include hobbies that won’t disturb the apartment, including napping or swimming.
3. Pet’s medical record review
An apartment can verify dog breeds using their pet medical records, which include the breed or breed combinations. It’s fairly common for landlords to request a pet’s medical history to ensure they are properly vaccinated and are not a danger to other tenants or the property.
Understand that vet records are considered medical records and cannot be shared with a landlord without your permission, at least in most states, including California. Thus, it depends on your state but generally “No”. An apartment can ask for all vetting records (not receipts, records) though. They can ask for proof of current vaccines and that’s all.
When your potential landlord requests a copy of your pet’s medical records, it should provide important information such as the date your pet was neutered or spayed, a record of their vaccinations, and the dates of their flea, tick, and heartworm treatments.
Refer to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) confidentiality of veterinary patient records to learn about your state’s law.
Read also: you could get out of dog rent: here’s how
4. Dog DNA test results
This could be an extreme measure but your dog’s DNA tests could be used by the apartment to verify its breed. Landlords do not always require the results of the DNA test but some renters do provide them anyway.
A canine DNA test can verify that your dog isn’t one of the banned breeds. This can be especially helpful for breeds such as mutts and others that look like two dogs on the banned list.
Canine DNA tests can easily be gotten from online retailers as well as some pet stores. Thus, it is incredibly easy to conduct a DNA test for your dog. You simply take a swab from their cheek and send it for analysis. Your dog’s DNA is then compared to the databases of testing companies and you get a report listing the breeds in your dog’s DNA.
5. Dog training certificates
A training certificate from a dog obedience school contains the name of the dog and the breed. Thus, it is a great idea to submit a copy of any certificates your dog has obtained to indicate that your fur friend obeys commands and is well-behaved.
A dog that successfully passed one or more training programs would less likely pose a threat to an apartment, other renters, or pets.
6. Reviewing reference letters
Some landlords will assess your dog’s suitability through reference letters from previous landlords and others. A reference letter provides an objective or impartial perspective on your dog, thus helping to determine if your dog’s breed is okay for the apartment.
You can have your vet, dog groomer, pet sitter, or neighbors write a reference describing your canine’s good behavior. Ensure that your referee includes the breed and other relevant details such as their personality and how they behave even when you are not at home with them. The reference should also include how the dog interacts with other animals.
What if you get a bad reference? Here are tips to get past it.
7. Pet photos or videos
It is common for some apartments to assess the breed of a dog by looking at pictures or videos. Rather than the regular pet interview or resume, some apartment owners may ask renters to submit visual evidence.
Make sure to include pictures or videos showing your dog in the best light possible. A picture of them sleeping on your couch or a video of them playing with a child can prove that your dog’s breed is suitable for the apartment.
8. Pet screenings
Usually, apartment owners request screening for potential renters with dogs. It may be required for your dog to pass screening with a certain breed to stay in the apartment.
Pet screenings check if your dog interacts well with others, obeys commands, how they walk on a leash, as well as if your dog listens to other people other than yourself. A pet assessor will also report on your canine’s breed to verify it for the apartment.
Meanwhile, you may be able to bypass the restrictions if you do these when renting!
Dog breed: why landlords think it matters
Landlords are typically concerned about dog breeds for liability reasons. Besides, lots of dog bite claims and other dog-related injuries cost homeowners insurers millions each year, making stricter liability coverage and higher premiums.
Apart from pain and injury, dog bites can also spread infectious germs and about 1 in 5 people bitten by a dog requires medical attention—Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The rise in submitted medical claims also means insurance companies amending the banned breeds list, which is factored into liability coverage policy.
b. Community laws
Some landlords might not have control over banned dog breeds as some towns and neighborhoods have breed-specific legislation (BSL) laws that restrict certain dog breeds in the area. You can find the list of banned breeds on the pet policy of your community’s webpage.
c. Other renters
When a renter finds an apartment, the landlord or apartment manager may be mandated to disclose any available dog breeds, which may determine if the rental proceeds or not. Thus, your potential next-door neighbors could be the reason a particular dog breed is prohibited, or sometimes there’s a no-pet policy against dogs, of course with an exception of authorized ESA pet dogs.
Don’t bring in a banned breed
A banned dog breed in an apartment violates the terms of your lease, and you could be evicted. Unfortunately, this makes finding a new apartment difficult due to bad rental history.
Do not dismiss your application if your dog breed is on the banned list. Instead, be honest with the landlord or property manager about the breed of your dog and ask if they’re willing to make an exception.
If you cannot find an apartment that is ready to accept your dog, consider upsizing and look for a house with no pet restrictions.