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Anyone who rents an apartment and wants to keep a pet can certainly attest to the fact that it’s not so easy to find a property management company which will allow you to do so without paying a fee of some kind.  These fees are typically referred to as “Pet deposits” and can run the gamut of $100 to $500 dollars on two bedroom one bath units.  This, of course, depends on many factors and should not be misconstrued as an all inclusive statement.  States, cities, and counties all have their guidelines, with some going so far as to regulate how many of a specific pet you can own.

Something I have come to learn over the years while sneaking my reptiles into my home after dark in order avoid the management, is that there are property management companies and apartment managers across the United States who do not classify reptiles and insects kept in a secured enclosure as “pets.”  I’d like to clarify, as there are surely those who would press the issue and, in turn, create issues for future renters.  We here at the Reptile Apartment have developed some general rules about apartment living and reptiles over the past twelve years in order to keep the experience positive for all parties involved.  These are in no way a “shoe-in” or guarantee for getting approved for or getting the rental that you want, but they do help.  General Rules For Apartment Living.

I cannot stress enough the dangers of owning any reptile which exceeds six feet in length.  Generally speaking, six feet is the size which can be “controlled” by one person.  Anything over that size generally requires a second person to assist in management of the animal.

Another factor for apartment living and reptiles is the enclosure itself.  If we use the basic rule that says a snake must be able to stretch the entire perimeter of the enclosure and never have its tail touch its nose, then a six-foot snake obviously requires a sizable enclosure.  The general rule for of lizard requirements states that the enclosure be one and half times the length and at least twice the width of the lizard.

It goes without saying that the enclosures are large, but also have to have a certain level of guarantee that the snake or lizard is secure and cannot escape.  We all should understand that this is a false sense of security; however, in the twelve plus years I have owned various species of reptiles, I have only had one escape and that was from the new cat falling through the screen on an enclosure.

A secure enclosure also prevents the snake or lizard from escaping and eating the neighbor’s poodle, Fifi.  Some of you are laughing, but I cannot stress how serious this is.  It’s happened too many times and is the reason for the government coming closer to banning the keeping of reptiles as pets altogether.

Now, before moving onto other subjects, I must mention for the sake of common sense and responsibility, even if your local government allows the ownership of venomous reptiles, do not do so in an apartment setting.  This obviously puts you at risk, but now you’re also endangering the other tenants as well.

Reptiles and insects make some of the best companions when living in a confined space where you’re not allowed to have mammals.  Sure, you can’t cuddle with the Bearded Dragon Pogona vitticeps, but you can handle them and interact with them and the enjoyment they bring is well worth the money saved on the pet deposit.  So if you’re interested, please check out the other areas of this site and learn a little about the many species of reptile that do well and even thrive in an apartment setting.


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