Find pet friendly apartments in Chicago that welcome pet owners. The search for pet friendly Chicago apartments is becoming more popular among Chicago and suburban renters, and landlords have been putting out the welcome mat for apartment seekers bringing along a pet or two in their search for the perfect apartment.

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.