On the Market: Finding a Home for You and Your Pet

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow)- If you've ever had to find rental housing that allows pets, then chances are you know just how hard it can be to find a home for you and your furry or feathered family member.
     But there are things you can do to help smooth out the search out the bumpy rental road.
     It's easy to get frustrated with landlords who refuse to allow renters with pets. But for landlords, it's sometimes hard to justify the risk of renting to a pet owner.
     "Especially if the tenant is leaving the pet home alone all day, there can be accidents and a carpet can be ruined and a $500 security deposit just doesn't cover that," says Lurline Johnson of Property Profiles.
      Just because landlords refuse pets, it does not mean they don't like them. They might be inexperienced with pets or have heard horror stories from other landlords. Perhaps they allowed pets at one time but had a bad experience that they don't care to repeat.
     So what can a renter do?Two things may help.
First create a resume for your pet. It may sound funny to have a resume for an animal, but it can help to show the landlord that you are a responsible pet owner.
      Include helpful information like obedience classes, references from veterinarians and previous landlords.
     You should also have a short write-up about yourself as a pet owner.
     A more powerful option is for you to get renters insurance.This type of insurance was designed specifically for pet owners living in rental accommodations. If any damage is done the insurance will take care of it instead of the landlord.
     Sometimes property owners will allow a pet on the property only if the renter puts down a higher security deposit.
     But there is no such thing as a pet deposit in Hawaii. It is illegal to collect an additional deposit for a pet, the maximum your security deposit can be equal to the monthly rent.
     So keep those things in mind as you search for a rental and give yourself plenty of time. And be honest don't try and sneak your pet into a rental.
     Honesty in the beginning can save you future headaches.
      In our next "On The Market" segment we'll found out how the Honolulu Humane Society is working with State Legislators to help pet lovers find rental homes.