11 Tips to Find Pet-Friendly House Rentals In Calgary!

February 21, 2020 Shauna

Hunting for apartment or house rentals is tough, and it can even be stressful if you have a pet companion and looking for a pet friendly rental in Calgary. Many landlords do not prefer renting out to tenants that have pets. Landlords may have many different reasons for not offering their house or apartment rentals as pet friendly. Rental laws allow landlords in Alberta to refuse renting out to someone with pets. They may also include a no pets clause in the agreement and having pets could lead to tenant eviction. The landlords can also restrict the number and size of pets. All this can make things tough searching for pet friendly rentals or houses for rent in Calgary.

Pets can limit your options when it comes to finding a home to rent faster, but not to fear, here are 11 tips for finding your next rental apartment or home for you and your furry companion. 

1.            Start off on the right foot

When you start searching for pet friendly apartment or house rentals in Calgary, look for ads that specifically indicate that the apartment is pet-friendly. Even if the ad does not mention this, you must ask the landlord upfront. Be honest that you own pet/pets. It does not have to be the first thing you talk about, but make sure you mention it to the landlord or property manager when you view an apartment rental. 

Not sure where to start you search for pet friendly rentals in Calgary?

In case you are struggling to find pet friendly rentals or apartments for rent in Calgary, check out top rental websites such as RentFaster, Zumper or RentWell.Ca and you can find hundreds of apartments and houses for rent matching listings by using the websites pet filter zero you can down on the pet friendly rental apartments or house rentals in your desired community you wish to rent in! Its easy to find what you need to keep both you and your fur baby happy. 

Additionally, you can contact the humane society or animal care and control agency serving the area in which you are moving; these agencies may provide you with a list of apartment communities that allow pets. If you know any real estate agents or property management companies, they can also help you find a pet friendly rental in Calgary.

2.            Allow yourself enough time

Finding suitable apartments for rent in Calgary or any other city for that matter can be time consuming depending on available inventory, what and where you are looking for and also if you have smaller budget. Moreover, finding the one that is appropriate for both you and the pet can be even difficult. So, make sure you have enough time in hand before starting your search for pet friendly house rentals. If possible, allow yourself at least two months to find a rental apartment, because you don’t just need a pet-friendly apartment, you will also need amenities such as a park to walk your dog and a veterinary clinic close by. 

3.            Have a size requirement in mind

When searching and short listing your next rental house or apartments in Calgary, take into account how much space your pet would need. If you own a bigger pet such as a Labrador, you will likely need more space. A kitten may not need too much space, but you will need space to place the litter box. So, have a certain square footage in mind based on your space requirements. In case your pet needs some outdoor space, look for houses that have a balcony or a yard. 


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4.            Check out the neighborhood

Checking out just the apartment may not be enough. The location is equally important, so take a good look of the neighborhood. Check out the parks, walking trails and other open spaces where you can take your pet out for a walk or run. Another important thing you must look for is a veterinary clinic. Make sure there is one close by because you don’t want to travel miles to see a vet if need arises. Also, see if there are any pet-friendly departmental stores or restaurants in the area. 

5.            Be upfront from start

Power Properties, one of the leading property management firm in Calgary recommends to be upfront with landlords from the start. Landlords have all kinds of different reasons for keeping their properties pet free. Whether it is an allergy, a condo bylaw or a previous bad experience, there may be no way to make them change their mind. So don’t waste their time and your time

6.            Understand the landlord’s perspective

When you go for viewing houses for rent in Calgary, try to understand the landlord’s reservations. While you may find it unreasonable that your fur baby is unwelcome, the landlord may have their own reasons for it. They may have had a bad experience with a prior tenant or they may be concerned about the pet damaging their property. So, rather than dismissing their concerns, try to address them patiently. Provide all the details that can alleviate their fears. Read more about this in the coming section.

7.            Talk about the pet

This is very important. If the landlord is skeptical about having pets in their rental apartment, you must try your best to prove that you are a responsible pet owner. They may make an exception for you. Make sure you carry all the documents to prove that your pet is well behaved and not a trouble maker.  Power Properties suggests Offering as much information to your prospective landlord about your pet. Include a description of the breed, size, and maybe even a picture. If your pet is young, make sure you are honest about how big your pet will get as it may become an issue down the line and breaks the trust between you and your landlord.

8.            Create a pet resume

Having a great pet resume can make your search for pet friendly house rental or apartment for rent in Calgary much easier. You can get an idea of what to include in the resume from the various samples available online. Ideally, your pet resume should include details such as the pet’s name, its breed, weight and size, current photo, training details, proof of vaccinations and anything else that you find necessary. Highlight things like the pet is potty trained and never tries to escape. The idea is to present your pet in the best light so that you have better chances of landing the rental apartment you like. In doing so, do not attempt to exaggerate or say things that are not true. 

9.            Get great references

You should make every effort to show that you are a responsible pet owner, committed to having a disciplined pet. If you can get some references who can speak in favor of your pet, it can prove to the potential landlord that your pet deserves to stay in their apartment rental. Get your previous landlord to write or say the good things about the pet’s behavior during previous tenancy. This can put the potential landlord’s anxieties at ease. Additionally your pet’s trainer or vet can also vouch for its behavior. Any paperwork to show that the dog has undergone some training can be an added advantage. 

Travis who now rents a duplex in the inner city Capitol Hill followed a similar example. Initially when he first saw the listed duplex house for rent, the landlord was looking for tenants who don't have any pets.  However Travis told the landlord about how well trained and well behaved his cats are, showed their pictures and even arranged a call from his previous landlady to speak to the current landlord. Travis also offered additional pet deposit just in case to cover any damage caused by the pets. Eventually the landlord agreed and Travis was able to secure the ideally located house he is renting at a great price. The landlord in turn was able to get the house rented to great professional couples on a longer term lease than she would have had if she rented to tenants without any pets. It turned out a win-win for everyone!

10.          Don't hesitate to negotiate

Be realistic and have a plan if your application is turned down at the first time. Team at Power Properties also suggests not to shy away from negotiating a non-refundable pet fee If landlord is still unsure. Usually these fees range anywhere from $150 - $500 and cover any extra costs the owner may incur from your pet (carpet cleaning, furnace cleaning, etc.). This is a great way to put some of the landlord’s concerns to rest and demonstrating your genuine interest in the specific rental apartment or house for rent in Calgary. 

11.          Get it in writing

If your potential landlord tells you verbally that she will allow your pet in their apartment, that's great however, you must make sure that you get it in writing in the signed lease. All clauses pertaining to the pet should be discussed and detailed in the lease. This will make sure that you and your pet can enjoy a long and problem-free stay in the new apartment. 

In addition, before you move into a condo, make sure you are aware of the condo’s bylaws regarding pets or you could face some hefty fines, reminds property management team at Power Properties. Fines can be issued for anything from noise complaints to someone witnessing your dog pee on the common area grass. Most condos will even make you get condo board approval before you can bring your pets onto the premises. Making sure your pet is licensed with the city and is spayed/neutered can make this process go faster, as they may require proof.

To summarize, finding pet-friendly apartment or house rentals in Calgary can be much easier if you are well prepared as a tenant. I hope you find the tips and strategies I have covered in this blog post useful in your search of pet friendly rentals in Calgary.

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Are you a landlord with house rental or apartment for rent in Calgary, Edmonton or anywhere in Alberta looking for good tenants? Or you are a renter whose apartment search seems like an unending task? Looking to rent in Alberta? Rent faster with RentWell.ca, the best rental website to put an end to all your rental woes! Try it is simple, safe and also free!



Shauna is a blogs for RentWell.Ca on tips, tricks and strategies to make experience of apartment renting a bit less cumbersome. She is passionate about rental real estate and frequently writes in online industry magazines columns. The views expressed are her own. Blog Editor: Shawn Verma is Technology & Real Estate Expert and published author. He is an experienced technology and real estate professional with over 25 years in the technology and real estate expertise. He writes about latest trends in Technology and Real Estate in blogs in online industry magazines and groups and social media