First Time Renting An Apartment With A Pet? Here’s What You Need To Know…

Female in her apartment with her dog in her lap hugging him

There are so many reasons people want to move to a Florida rental apartment. The year-round warm weather and the graceful palms make it a paradise. The low cost of living affords you luxuries that would be near impossible in northern states. But the best part? The Garden Communities in the sunshine date are all pet-friendly! If you signed your lease and are ready to move in with your furry best friend there are some things you should know first, and you can find it all here.

Garden Community Pet Rules FAQ 

A Cat and Dog outside in the grass cuddling

While we love pets here in Garden Communities, there are some rules. But don’t worry! Most prospective renters with pets easily meet and follow them: 

1. Is there a pet policy I have to sign? 

Yes, all renters with pets must sign our policy on pet ownership in the community and pay a non-refundable fee for each pet. In a nutshell, this policy is to ensure that your pets are courteous of other renters (ie: no excessive barking or defecating in inappropriate areas). It is also to ensure that no animal abuse occurs. 

2. Are all types of pets allowed in Garden Communities? 

Cats and dogs are certainly allowed. Other pets that are allowed by state ordinance, such as ferrets, are also allowed, but they must have proof that the animal has been vaccinated and licensed by the state. 

3. Does my pet have to be within a certain weight limit? 

Yes, all pets must be under 40lbs.  

4. How many pets are allowed per rental apartment unit? 

There is a limit of 2 pets per unit. 

Helpful Tips for Moving into an Apartment with a Pet 

A tabby cat looking out the window indoors

Signing a policy and meeting the pet standards is only part of the process. Follow these tips to ensure that your pet starts off on the right paw and lives a happy, comfortable life with you in your new rental. 

Meet the GC Staff 

Before you move in, it’s wise to have community management meet your pet. It’s not necessary, but showing them that your pet is friendly and has good behavior will certainly help getting the seal of approval. After all, if your pug, Samson, isn’t good with a staff member, how will he act around other residents? 

Behavior Matters 

The whole point of meeting GC staff is to show good temperament, but what’s your animal’s behavior on a consistent basis? If your sweet beagle has separation anxiety and wakes up the neighbor’s baby every day, there’s going to be some issues. If the dog isn’t house trained and does her business in the hallway, then that’s going to be a problem, too.  

Fortunately, many of behavioral issues can be addressed with proper training. There are many dog training schools and instructors in Florida, and we encourage you to try out their services if you are worried about your dog adapting to apartment life. This will be especially helpful if you have a puppy.  

A note from someone who’s trained a puppy in an apartment:  
Even with the most professional trainer, accidents will happen because your puppy is still developing. Always have training treats in your pocket and carry a go bag with poopy bags, a towel and a small spray bottle filled with Resolve or OdoBan. Please be courteous to the community and other residents by cleaning up after the little tyke. 

Make Sure Your Pet Gets Enough Exercise 

A tired pet is a well-behaved pet. But behavior aside, exercise is just important to our four-legged friends as it is to people. Many of our neighborhoods have dog runs on premises for you to take your pooch for a morning walk or jog. However, if you cannot partake in this do to medical reasons, or don’t have time, then there are other ways you can keep your dog active and healthy: 

  1. Hire a dog walker. This will ensure that your dog has ample exercise and can go do his business outside while you’re at work during the day. 
  2. Play tug of war. This is a favorite game among dogs and if done once or twice a day it will help them to stay fit. The game engages almost every muscle in their body, and depending on how much of an effort you put into it, both of you will get a small cardio workout! 
  3. Fetch. Fetch is an easy game to play in your apartment while watching TV or sitting at the table. Just throw the toy into the living room area, have your spaniel chase it, bring it back (in exchange for a treat, of course), and repeat!  
  4. Bring them to the beach! The beach is a great place to give your dog exercise. Just make sure to check the regulations. Some beaches in the Tampa area and beaches on the Space Coast only allow dogs during certain hours and/or require leashes.

Hurricane Preparedness With a Pet 

Hurricanes can certainly make landfall in Florida. While all of our communities are up to code to withstand these impressive storms, it’s important to ensure that you have the proper precautions for yourself and your pet if the government calls for evacuation. Even it’s safe to stay home, be prepared to console your pet since this can be a scary event for them, as well as having the necessary supplies in case the power goes out.  

You can find pet emergency checklists and emergency checklists for yourself for both of these situations here.

Pet-Friendly Garden Communities By Location 

If you’re looking for a pet-friendly apartment community, Garden Communities is sure to have one with everything you’ve been looking for!  

Brevard County, FL

Harvard Apartments 
1, 2, 3 Bedroom Units 

Tampa & Hillsborough County, FL

Compton Place 
1, 2, 3 Bedroom Units
The Landings at Cypress Meadows 
1, 2, 3 Bedrooms Units

Are you and your pet ready to live your best lives? Then look no further than your local Garden Community!