Listings giant Apartments.com is reporting that a significant majority of renters surveyed own a pet. This year, 72 percent of renters surveyed said they are pet owners, compared to just 43 percent in 2012.
The survey also indicates that most tenants are comfortable in pet-friendly buildings. More than 80 percent of pet-loving renters surveyed by Apartments.com believe their fellow residents either like pets or are indifferent to them living in the building. These findings closely align with the views of renters who don’t own pets. Three quarters of renters without pets said they either enjoy living in a pet-friendly building or they do not have a specific preference.
“While it is good news that most renters seem to enjoy living in pet-friendly apartment communities, the past two years have shown us the majority of pet-owning renters faced some difficulty finding an apartment that allows pets,” said Brad Long, president of Apartments.com. “We believe these trends may increase demand for new apartment construction that includes innovative pet-friendly spaces, amenities and policies, especially as, over the years, nine out of 10 renters have told us pet policies played a deciding role when choosing where to live.”
Cats topped the list for most popular apartment pets, followed by smaller-sized dogs. Thirteen percent of renters chose other pets, including fish and birds.
This year, less than 20 percent of renters surveyed said they live in a building that has no restrictions whatsoever on what type of pet they are allowed to have (down from nearly 30 percent in 2013). The Apartments.com website provides renters with the ability to tailor searches to only show pet-friendly apartments that allow cats, small dogs or all dogs.
More renters are being asked to pay for the pleasure of having a pet. Close to 80 percent of respondents said they were required to pay a pet deposit, up from around 60 percent in 2013. This year, just over half of renters paid more than $200 annually in pet deposits and monthly fees. Since the costs of renting with a pet add up, renters searching for the most value in their next apartment may want to ask about what specific pet amenities are included within the building and its individual units.
“Pets bring unconditional love and affection into the lives of millions of Americans, and whether an apartment community allows pets can clearly be a deal breaker for many renters,” said Tammy Kotula, public relations and promotions manager for Apartments.com. “In response to the increased demand for pet-friendly apartments over the past two years, we see the rental industry moving toward accommodating the needs of this important and growing segment of renters with flexible pet policies and new construction of apartment buildings that offer a variety of amenities for renters who own pets.”
Apartments.com is a leading national apartment Internet listing subscription service with more than 50,000 unique addresses representing millions of rental units from managed properties and for-rent-by-owner properties. As part of its What Renters Want series, Apartments.com surveys renters on various topics throughout the year.