Having a pet in your Gainesville apartment is bound to be a wonderful experience for you and your pets, with careful thought and consideration. As both a dedicated pet owner and an apartment renter, finding the right apartment can seem like a challenge, but it doesn't need to be. There are many resources available for you to ensure that you are making the right decision on where to live with your pets.
Tips For Living in Pet Friendly Gainesville Apartments
Since your new Gainesville apartment will be the place you call home for both you and your pets, comfort for all should be a top priority. Before you sign a lease (or an adoption form if you are currently looking for a pet), be sure that you have covered all of your bases with the 6 tips below:
Apartment Community Type
First, consider the distinction that apartments in Gainesville can either be student communities (individually leased by-the-bedroom) or conventional communities (joint leases for the entire apartment). Whether you are looking to live in a student apartment or a conventional apartment, there are certain things to think about with both.
If you are looking for a student apartment in Gainesville, consider the challenge school will have in regards to living with your pet. Will your schedule leave your pet alone in your apartment for long periods of time? Will you have a stable enough schedule to feed and walk/exercise your pet around the same time everyday? These are just a few of the things to think about since starting school can be a difficult transition for many students. However, it is no surprise that having your pet with you can help alleviate some of that stress and make it easier to acclimate to your new surroundings. If you decide that you are able to handle the responsibility, having your pet with you while in school is very rewarding. Once you make your decision, be sure to familiarize yourself with your apartment's pet policy. An apartment may have specific rules on alerting roommates that you will have a pet, pets being left alone, or other specifics in place for other student's safety.
If you are looking for a conventional apartment in Gainesville, similar considerations apply. Will your work or daily activities leave your pet home alone for extended periods of time? Will your apartment have enough space for your pet's needs? In addition to reviewing these thoughts, you should also familiarize yourself with your apartment's pet policy and look into certain apartment features, listed below.
If you are an apartment renter in either of these types of communities who is currently thinking about getting a pet, visit the Alachua County Humane Society for a list of adoptable pets and resources to help you find the perfect new friend.
Having Roommates in a Pet Friendly Apartment
Whether your roommates are strangers, friends, or family, there are a few factors for you to take into consideration. First, you should alert your roommates that you have a pet before move in day. This one applies more so to roommates you did not know previously, but you want to be as up front as possible about the fact that you are bringing a pet. Some people have intense allergies to cats and dogs that will prohibit them from living life as normal. Some have never been around animals before, and therefore may be fearful or uncomfortable with having one around at all times. Others simply may not want a pet in their apartment for an array of personal reasons. Communication is key here so that you may make any decisions you need to regarding your future living.
An important part of your search as a pet owner should include doing research on any restrictions that pet friendly apartments in Gainesville may have. While all apartments have their own unique policies, some do have very specific restrictions, especially when it comes to dog friendly apartments. The restrictions may be on certain breeds or on dogs that will grow over a certain weight limit. You should also consider less obvious restrictions that the apartment may not have a policy on, but will still affect you. For example, if you are a dog owner and looking at an apartment on the fourth floor, consider that you will need to take your dog outside multiple times a day and a lower level may be better suited for this.
Pet Rent and Fees in Gainesville Apartments
Of course, it is important to consider the financial side of owning a pet in an apartment. While this is likely something that has already been considered, you should know exactly what you are paying for. In addition to your pet's regular care and general health costs, you will also need to budget for apartment fees. Usually, apartments will charge a one-time deposit. The deposit price differs for every apartment, but you should generally expect to pay a few hundred dollars. Once you have the deposit squared away, you will also have an affordable monthly fee added to your rent for your pet. Generally this is not a substantial addition to your rent, but it is something to consider if money is tight at the moment. This money goes toward any repairs and clean-up to your apartment, as well as new and improved amenities for you and your pet in your community. Essentially, your pet is paying "rent" to live in your apartment with you, like a four-legged roommate!
Pet Friendly Features and Amenities
Considering your pet's overall health should be the #1 thing you take into account when finding a new pet friendly apartment in Gainesville. A stigma surrounding pets in apartments is that there is not enough room for pets to get as much exercise and mental stimulation as they need. The fact of the matter is that this is not true. Many apartments have realized that with a growth in residents, it will include their pets as well. Therefore, many apartments now have amenities specifically for pets to enjoy. For dogs, be sure to look for a community with dog parks, pet clean up stations, and dog wash stations. If you are looking for cat friendly apartments, consider indoor features that will make your cat happy. When you take a tour of a prospective apartment community, be on the lookout for windows with plenty of natural lighting and ledges for your cat to sit on, enough space and storage for your cats climbing toys and a litter box and a safe outdoor environment. A happy pet is a happy life!
Frequently Asked Questions
Do pet friendly apartments in Gainesville charge a pet deposit?
Nearly all of the pet friendly apartments in Gainesville will require you to pay a pet fee or deposit before moving in. The difference between a fee and a deposit is very important. A pet fee will not be returned to you regardless of the apartment's condition when you move out. A pet deposit may be returned upon move out as long as the apartment does not require any costly repairs. The deposit or fee will likely be more than $200 and will cover any potential damage caused by your pet.
Do apartments in Gainesville charge pet rent?
Most of the apartments in Gainesville charge a monthly pet rent in addition to the pet deposit or fee. Pet rent can range, but is typically $25-50, per pet. Make sure you ask detailed questions about the monthly pet rent and build it into your monthly apartment budget.
Why do pet friendly apartments have breed or weight restrictions?
Most often, breed and weight restrictions are not issued by the apartment management or owner, but are put in place by the apartment's insurance company. This means that these rules are non-negotiable. It is very important that you follow the apartment community's weight or breed restriction policies. If you are found to be in violation of the policies, you will likely be asked to remove your pet from the apartment - and nobody wants to re-home a beloved family pet!
How many pets can I have in my Gainesville apartment?
Most apartments in Gainesville limit apartments to 2 pets. Depending on your future apartment's pet policy, "pet" could be defined as a cat, dog, bird, aquarium, or reptile. You'll want to double check your lease and the apartment's pet policy to determine if you meet the pet limit for your apartment.