It is said that people with pets are happier, healthier and live longer. While this might be true for those without allergies, during your college years having pets in an apartment can be more trouble than Fluffy is worth. First and foremost, make sure that you choose a pet friendly apartment in Gainesville, as some of the traditional student housing communities do not allow pets in apartments shared with roommates.
Cost. Most apartment complexes are happy to let you bring your furry friend along for the cost of a pet fee; sometimes that amount will be a large-sum deposit when you move in or a small monthly fee added to your rent. Some complexes require both. The deposit is to ensure replacement for any "accidents" which may occur. The monthly fee helps pay for the maintenance of pet parks and other pet-friendly feature the community might offer. Also, keep in mind that if Fluffy ruins the carpet, replacement bills can quickly surpass your entire deposit.
Roommates. The most important thing about happily living with a roommate is compromise. One of the most hotly debated topics among roommates is hosting pets in small quarters. Before you bring Fluffy home with you, check with your roommate for any allergies or otherwise pet aversions. It's hard to believe, but not everyone is an animal person. If you're living in an apartment with roommate matching, be sure to answer "yes" to any pet questions on your roommate matching form, even if you do not yet have a pet but plan to adopt!
Happy Pets. It's hard parting with your pet, but you should also consider its happiness. Apartments are smaller than houses and don't come with large patios for pets to run around in. Add to that a full-schedule of studying, partying, weekend trips and maybe even working, and Fluffy might end up sad and neglected.
A Word of Warning. If your apartment community prohibits pets, don’t try to sneak Fluffy up the back stairs in the middle of the night. In most leases, you will grant the landlord the right to enter your apartment for inspections, repairs and other emergencies – sometimes even unannounced. The apartment’s staff will find Fluffy – maybe not the first or second day – and they will serve you with legal notices to remove Fluffy from their community. Trust us on this one, honesty is the best policy.
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