How to Find Pet-Friendly Properties for Rent in Washington, D.C.

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Searching for the ideal apartment can be challenging at the best of times, but having a pet adds a new dimension to the struggle. Many landlords in the D.C. area won’t consider renting to pet owners because it creates additional damage risks and could also disrupt neighbors.

Even landlords who allow pets are under no obligation to rent to you if they feel your furry friend could be a nuisance. Identifying a dog-friendly place (or other pet-perfect home) for rent is only part of the battle because you must convince the property owner or manager that your companion won’t create problems throughout your tenancy. 

You can, however, take some steps to convince your landlord that letting you move in with a dog or cat is a good idea. This guide will take you through the process of finding the best pet-friendly apartments D.C. has to offer, while offering tips on convincing the property manager that your pet won’t be any trouble.

Possible Restrictions at Pet-Friendly Apartments in Washington, D.C.

Even pet-friendly apartments could have restrictions you’ll need to consider before completing your application. The best way to ensure there aren’t any misunderstandings is to speak with the landlord or property manager early in the process to learn the rules. Examples of restrictions include:

Number of Pets

Many apartments limit the number of pets you can have in a single unit. This rule might not even be up to the property owner or manager, as the building could have bylaws every resident must follow while living there. Learning about these restrictions is advisable if you have more than one pet.

Dog Weight and Size

There could be restrictions on the size of the pet your landlord will allow in the unit. These rules typically apply to dogs and could limit your ability to find an apartment if you have a large breed. Searching for the best large dog-friendly apartments D.C. has available adds another challenge as you seek the ideal spot for you and your pet.

Breed-Specific Restrictions

Some dog breeds have a bad reputation (whether or not that’s earned), and your landlord might not be comfortable with them living in the unit. These restrictions could vary from complex to complex or be based on the property owner’s preferences, but breeds like pit bulls, Dobermans, German shepherds, and rottweilers are frequently on these lists. Mentioning the breed is vital when filling out your application to ensure you and the owner are on the same page.

Pet restrictions are sometimes negotiable with the landlord, but it’s best to learn any rules before getting too excited about renting a particular property. Discussing your pet could be enough to convince a property owner who’s on the fence.

Six Tips to Help You Find Pet-Friendly Property in D.C.

Identifying pet-friendly apartments in Washington is relatively straightforward, but convincing a property manager or landlord to rent to you is an entirely different situation. You’ll have to explain your circumstances and let the owner know your pet won’t be a problem while living there. Some tips to follow in this scenario include:

1. Use Online Tools

The first step is to locate properties that will consider renting to pet owners. Online tools allow you to narrow your search based on the property’s pet restrictions so you don’t waste time applying for apartments that won’t even consider you. 

2. Create a Pet Resume

Finding a dog-friendly place for rent is only part of the battle because the landlord still has to accept you as a tenant. Constructing a pet resume could help because it shows the property owner that you’re responsible and your pet won’t be an issue. This resume could include pictures, health records, a thorough description of the pet, and any training certificates the pet has earned. 

3. Get Reference Letters

Showing reference letters from previous pet-friendly private landlords in D.C. could help the process. These letters should outline your time living at the property with your pet and explain that your dog or cat didn’t damage your previous home while living there.

4. Offer an Additional Damage Deposit or Rent Payment

Some landlords or property managers might not be easily convinced, but you can provide an additional pet damage deposit or a monthly rent for your pet to get negotiations over the hump. The amount you’ll offer depends on what you’re comfortable paying. You should know that some property managers proactively add a pet surcharge to your deposit or rent.

5. Ensure the Rental Is Right for Your Pet

It’s easy to forget your pet’s needs while seeking a rental unit in D.C. A building that’s too noisy or too cramped, or one that’s a lengthy distance from the nearest dog park might not be the best option for your companion, even if it seems perfect for you. Consider what your pet needs while searching for an apartment to ensure you’ll both be happy there.

6. See if You Qualify for an Assistance Animal

D.C. has laws surrounding assistance animals, which are different from pets. An assistance animal provides help for individuals with mental or physical impairments, and no special training is necessary for the animal. It’s possible to receive an exemption for living in a no-pets property if it’s determined your assistance animal is essential for you to complete your daily activities. 

Following these tips could put you on the right track as you seek a pet-friendly rental in D.C. It’s best to be upfront about your pet situation and work with the property manager to ensure you find a comfortable place to live.

Get Help Finding the Perfect Pet-Friendly Rental in D.C.

Renting an apartment or condo in D.C. comes with challenges, but searching online makes it easier. You can look at available listings and submit rental applications using this method, helping you narrow your search in minutes.

Nomadic Real Estate makes all our vacant rental properties in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia available on our website. You can search for rentals by neighborhood, price, and size, and each listing states whether the apartment or condo allows pets. Contact Nomadic Real Estate for more information on finding a pet-friendly rental property in DC.

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Enhanced Reporting

Your portal includes a selection of extremely useful reports. Reports are available in the “Reports” section, and are distinct from the financial statements. Unlike financial statements which are static records, Reports are dynamic real-time records that will update with current data every time you view them. 

Scroll down to learn more about Reports:

Navigate to the "Reports" module in your portal:

Owner Portal Reports
  • Keep in mind, these reports are dynamic records. They will refresh to display current information every time you view them. 

Enhanced Rent Roll Report:

Enhanced Rent Roll Report
  • The Enhanced Rent Roll Report will show the rent amount, last payment date, move-in date, lease expiration date, and security deposit amount for each of your tenants. 
  • It will also show a portfolio summary with occupancy percentage, vacancy loss, and more!

Unit Comparison Report:

Unit Comparison Report
  • If you own multiple units (or buildings) with Nomadic, you’ll get access to the Unit Comparison Report. 
  • This report enables you to quickly compare financial performance between your units at a glance without toggling between individual reports. 

Income Statement Month-Over-Month:

Income Statement by Month Report
  • The Income Statement Detail – Monthly Report serves as a month-over-month record of portfolio performance. You’ll see itemized income and expense categories and can track monthly. This report will update with fresh data every time you view it. 

Financial Statements

Financial statements will be published to your portal on a monthly basis. The statements are found in your Documents library, and provide a historical record of all financial performance. The statements serve as a snapshot of financial performance over a given period, and are static documents (unlike Reports, the statements do not update/change in real-time). 

Scroll down for more info about the Financial Statements in your Documents library:

The Documents area contains monthly financial statements:

Owner Portal Documents
  • The statements in the Documents are are static documents. They are posted to the portal once a month to serve as a historical record of financial performance. 

Download a statement to see month and YTD financials:

Owner Portal Property Statement

You'll also find a month-over-month operating statement:

Month over Month Statement

Portal Communication Tool

You can use your owner portal to communicate with our team. Any messages you send through the portal will go straight to your Account Manager. When we reply, you’ll get an email notification and you’ll also see the message in your portal next time you log in. 

Here’s an overview of using the communication platform:

Click "Communications" and navigate to "Conversations":

Commincation Dashboard Screenshot
  • The communications module will contain a record of all messages that you create through the portal. 

Click the "New Message" button and send your message:

Owner Portal New Message Screenshot

Responses will show up in the conversation ticket:

Portal Conversation Response Screenshot
  • You’ll get an email notification whenever you get a response, and you’ll also see the message in your portal next time you log in. 

You can reply in-line using the comment box:

Owner Portal Comment

Each conversation will be logged in its entirety:

Portal Conversation Snapshot

Understanding the Ledger

Your portal includes a ledger with all transactions. The ledger is populated with data in real-time as transactions flow through our accounting software. Much of this information is also available in the Reports area, as well as the Statements in your Documents library, but the ledger is the most comprehensive resource for diving into the details. 

Please scroll through the sections below to get a better understanding of how to interpret the ledger. 

By default, transactions are sorted chronologically:

Owner Ledger Dates
  • The date reflected in the lefthand column is the actual transaction date, not the “bill date”. This is the date the transaction was actually processed. 

If you have multiple properties with Nomadic, you'll see the address for each transaction in the "Location" column:

Ledger Property Column
  • You can filter the ledger to look at just one property, all properties, or specific sets of properties. 
  • If you only have one property with us, you’ll just see the ledger for that property. 

The Description column displays the transaction type:

Owner Ledger Description Column
  • BILL: this is an expense transaction, such as for repair costs or management fees.
  • CHARGE: this is a transaction  billed to the tenant, most typically a rent payment. 
  • NACHA EXPORT: this is a credit we processed to your distribution account. This type of transaction is how you get paid! 

The Amount column shows the dollar value of each transaction:

Owner Ledger Amount Column
  • Positive Amounts: if an amount is positive, it reflects a transaction that is payable to you. Typically, this will be a rent payment that we collected from your tenants. On occasion, a positive number could also signify a journal entry or credit adjustment. 
  • Negative Amounts:  if an amount is negative, this is a transaction that is either payable to Nomadic or is an amount that has already been paid to you. Typically this will be for repair costs or management/leasing fees. Owner draws (net distributions into your checking/savings account) also reflect as negative amounts, since they have already been paid to you. 

The Account Balance column shows a sum of positive/negative transactions at a given point in time:

Owner Ledger Account Balance Column
  • Account Balance should always equal zero after a net distribution has been processed. When the balance is zero, this means that all expenses have been paid and you’ve received the remainder as net operating income, leaving a balance of zero (meaning: no one is due any money, as all funds have been distributed appropriately). 

Navigating the Propertyware Owner Portal

Your portal includes some extremely useful features that help you understand your property’s financial performance at a new level, with real-time transparency into every transaction.

Scroll through the snapshots below for an overview of portal navigation! If you need more help or have specific questions about using the portal, you can reach out to your Account Manager any time for a screen share. 

You can filter all info by date range or property:

PW Portal Filters

View a snapshot of income and expenses on your dashboard:

PW Owner Dashboard View

See every transaction in real-time on your ledger:

Owner Portal Ledger View

Statements and forms will be posted to your documents library:

Owner Portal Document Library

View a suite of real-time financial reports:

Portal Reports View

See a running list of all bills, and drill down for more detail:

Owner Portal Bills View

Under Bill Details, you'll find dates/descriptions/amounts and more:

Portal Bill Details

You can also communicate with your Account Manager through the portal:

Owner Portal Communication Tools

How do net distributions work?

Net distributions keep your accounting clean and simple. Each month we’ll collect rent from the tenants, deduct any repair expenses for the previous month and any management/leasing fees for the current month, and credit the remaining net operating income to your account. 

Net Distribution

You’ll receive a statement via email each time a net distribution is processed, and can view all transaction details in your Propertyware owner portal.