What Does “Pet Friendly Apartments” Mean?
If you're looking for a home that will work for you and your pets, then you should ask listing agents or refer directly to the apartment lease agreement to find out about the pet policy for the apartment. Inquire if the apartment has any conditions or restrictions for pet owners, such as breed restrictions and weight limitations for pets, and whether the building imposes other limitations on the pet’s use of the building. Dog owners should ask, for example, whether pets are permitted in the passenger elevator, in the lobby, and in any other common areas like the laundry room.
Some landlords are flexible with regards to the pet policy in their apartments, but it’s quite common for larger apartment buildings to have a pet policy that limits the number and size of pets that will occupy the rental. Some landlords encourage pet ownership by making it affordable to bring a pet to the new apartment, while others charge monthly pet rents, an annual pet fee, and/or a refundable pet security deposit as a deterrent.
There are instances where landlords implement breed restrictions for dogs, but this trend is largely based on public misperception about dogs and their behavior. There is no way to determine if a dog is troublesome based on breed alone. The consensus among animal and pet care experts is that good pet owners make for good, well-behaved pets.
With that in mind, apartment renters should properly train and care for any pets that will also live in their Chicago apartment. A pet that causes damage to the building or becomes dangerous to other tenants could be the basis for eviction – particularly if the apartment lease says so. If your landlord uses the Domu model lease, you’ll find all of the relevant pet rules in paragraph 18, which is appropriately titled “Pets.” Whichever lease form your landlord chooses, be sure to consider the terms and conditions related to pets before you sign on the dotted line.
Pet Amenities in Top Apartment Buildings
Many apartments in Chicago make it easier for pet owners to balance their pet’s quality of life with the necessities of keeping a neat and healthy apartment lifestyle. Popular pet amenities in Chicago apartments include:
- Dog run on the apartment property
- Pet grooming area on site, sometimes called the “dog washing station” or “pet spa”
- Boarding for pets within the apartment building during vacations or extended travel
- Building staff who can stop by the apartment and feed cats while their owners are traveling
- Partnerships and discounts with dog walking services or pet grooming services
Resources for Chicago Pet Owners
Here are some resources for apartment renters and apartment landlords who want to know more about caring for pets in Chicago apartments.
- The Anti-Cruelty Society | Resources for Chicago Pet Owners
- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals | Guide to Pet Care
- PAWS Chicago | Resources for Chicago Pet Owners
Dog Friendly Parks in Chicago
The Chicago Park District has nearly two dozen designated Dog Friendly Areas in Chicago parks or beaches where dogs can run and play while being off the leash. Dog owners may want to begin their search for a place near these dog friendly areas. Chicago has “urbs in horto” as its official city motto, which is Latin for “city in a garden.” With all the lush greenery and park space in Chicago, apartments shouldn’t be the only space that pets have to explore.
Below is a list of the Chicago Park District’s Dog Friendly Areas throughout the city’s neighborhoods:
- Anderson (Fred) Dog Friendly Area | 1611 S Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60601
- Bartelme (Mary) Dog Friendly Area | 115 S Sangamon, Chicago, IL 60607
- Belmont Harbor Beach Dog Friendly Area | Belmont & Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60614
- Bryn Mawr Dog Friendly Area | Bryn Mawr & Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60614
- Challenger Dog Friendly Area | 1100 W Irving Park Rd, Chicago, IL 60613
- Churchill Dog Friendly Area | 1825 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60614
- Clarendon Dog Friendly Area | 4501 N Marine Dr, Chicago, IL 60640
- Coliseum Dog Friendly Area | 1466 S Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60605
- Grant Dog Friendly Area | 951 S Columbus Dr, Chicago, IL 60601
- Hamlin Dog Friendly Area | 3035 N Hoyne Ave, Chicago, IL 60618
- Lake Shore East Dog Friendly Area | 450 E Benton Pl, Chicago, IL 60601
- Montrose Beach Dog Friendly Area | 601 W Montrose Ave, Chicago, IL 60613
- Noethling Playlot Dog Friendly Area | 2645 N Sheffield Ave, Chicago, IL 60614
- Norwood Dog Friendly Area | 5899 N Avondale, Chicago, IL 60631
- Park No. 551 Dog Friendly Area | 353 N Des Plaines St, Chicago, IL 60611
- Park No. 556 Dog Friendly Area | 2529 W Logan Blvd, Chicago, IL 60647
- Park No. 569 Dog Friendly Area | 1358 W Monroe, Chicago, IL 60607
- Portage Dog Friendly Area | 4100 N Long, Chicago, IL 60641
- Pottawattomie Dog Friendly Area | 7340 N Rogers Ave, Chicago, IL 60626
- Puptown | 4900 N Marine Dr, Chicago, IL 60640
- River Dog Friendly Area | 5100 N Francisco Ave, Chicago, IL 60625
- Walsh Dog Friendly Area | 1722 N Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60614
- Ward Dog Friendly Area | 630 N Kingsbury St, Chicago, IL 60606
- Wicker Dog Friendly Area | 1425 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60622