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Are Pitbulls Allowed in Apartments? Sometimes, Here’s Why!

Pitbulls are a contentious dog breed, especially when considering the possibility of them living in crowded apartment buildings.

Some people believe that Pitbulls are incredible dogs who have been discriminated against by the media’s vendetta against them.

In contrast, others feel that allowing Pitbulls to live amongst the general public (e.g., in an apartment building) is irresponsible and dangerous.

Pitbulls are not allowed in apartments where state and city laws ban Pitbulls. If local laws do not prohibit the ownership of Pitbulls, apartment managers may ban or permit Pitbulls according to the apartment rules, dog assessment, and availability of homeowners insurance. 

pitbull panting

People enquiring about the permissibility of Pitbulls living in an apartment usually do so for one of three reasons:

1 – they have a Pitbull and want to know if they can move into an apartment;

2 – they live in an apartment and want to get a Pitbull;

3 – their apartment neighbor owns a Pitbull, and they want to know if they can get the Pitbull evicted.

Places Where It’s Illegal To Keep Pitbulls In Apartments

Certain states and cities may ban or regulate the ownership of Pitbulls or Pitbull-type dogs. The core dog breeds that are collectively referred to as Pitbulls include the:

  1. American Pit Bull Terrier
  2. American Staffordshire Terrier
  3. English Bull Terrier
  4. Staffordshire Bull Terrier

While these four dog breeds are collectively referred to as Pitbulls, local authorities may also refer to Pitbull-type dogs.

When referencing Pitbull-type dogs, additional dog breeds and Pitbull crosses are also banned as potential safety risks.

In areas where the law prohibits the ownership of Pitbulls or Pitbull-type dogs, it is illegal to keep Pitbulls or Pitbull-type dogs in apartments regardless of the apartment rules.

When investigating the permissibility of keeping a Pitbull in an apartment, it is essential to consider the apartment rules and local laws governing the ownership of these dogs.

Breed-specific legislation may ban Pitbull breeds individually or collectively.

For example, individual breed legislation may ban or regulate the ownership of American Pit Bull Terriers but permit the ownership of American Staffordshire Terriers.

Collective prohibition of specific breeds may occur where the law or apartment rules reference Pitbulls or Pitbull types in which all four of the core Pitbull breeds and additional breeds are banned based on type rather than breed.

Pitbulls and Pitbull-types are not allowed to live in apartments in specific cities within the following states, where breed-specific legislation exists:

map of the united states
  1. Arkansas
  2. Iowa
  3. Kansa
  4. Kentucky
  5. Louisiana
  6. Missouri
  7. Mississippi
  8. Michigan
  9. Ohio
  10. Wisconsin
  11. Washington

The “Breed Specific Legislation” Map provides detailed information on cities banning Pitbulls and thus prohibiting them from living in apartments.

Related: Do German Shepherds Increase Homeowners Insurance?

Apartment Landlords Can Ban Or Permit Pitbulls

Once you have established that your Pitbull is legally allowed within a specific city, the next hurdle to overcome is finding an apartment that allows large breed dogs, including Pitbulls.

Many apartment-seeking Pitbull owners are quick to claim they are being discriminated against based on their dog’s breed. Unfortunately, this is one form of discrimination that is well within the Landlord’s rights.

Landlords must care for the safety of residents within a sectional title establishment, e.g., apartment, complex, or gated community. Based on the breed’s bite risk statistics, landlords may choose to ban Pitbulls.

However, a few landlords will permit individual Pitbulls to live within an apartment building, based on a bite-risk assessment of the Pitbull in question.

Getting Permission For Pitbulls To Live In Apartments

Once a landlord has agreed to consider letting your Pitbull live in the apartment, you must be prepared to go the extra mile.

Assuming your Pitbull is well-mannered, polite, and friendly, the following steps are designed to help other people (specifically the Landlord) see how amazing your Pitbull is!

When preparing for your Pitbull to be screened, your will need to have:

  1. Your Pitbull’s resume
  2. Their medical records
  3. Letters of recommendation
  4. Cute photos and videos
  5. A good faith offer of a higher deposit or pet levy
  6. Renters insurance which has a pet liability cover in excess of $300,000

Contents Of Your Pitbull’s Resume For Apartment Applications

dog and resume paper

A Pitbull’s resume should include all their details:

  1. Name
  2. Gender
  3. Age
  4. Colour
  5. Height and weight
  6. Breed registration and contact details for the dog’s breeders

In addition to these personal details, your Pitbull’s resume should also include any courses you have done with your Pitbull. Courses that landlords favor are:

  1. Canine Good Citizen (bronze, silver, and gold)
  2. Basic and advanced obedience
  3. Any certified therapy dog courses.

Remember to include your Pitbull’s graduation certificates and the contact details for the organization and instructor offering the course.

Your Pitbull is unlikely to pass the first hurdle if they have had any aggression training, e.g., personal protection work.

You can also include a fun paragraph about your Pitbull’s most endearing qualities – this is actually a very effective step to take – the results may surprise you.

Your Pitbull Medical Records In Apartment Applications

Pitbull medical records are a make or break for successful apartment applications.

These records should include sterilization status, complete vaccination, deworming, and health records of your Pitbull as supplied by your veterinarian.

Sterilization status has been positively linked to bite risk, especially amongst unneutered male Pitbulls. Thus, sterilized Pitbulls are a lower liability risk and more likely to be accepted as apartment residents.

Who Do You Need A Letter Of Recommendation From?

Ideally, you would get letters of recommendation from your previous neighbors, friends, family, dog trainers, and veterinarians.

The letters should reference your responsible ownership and your Pitbull’s incredible temperament, friendly nature, and polite attitude towards people.

Do Photos Help Pitbulls Get Apartment Residency?

cute pitbull

Having an extensive photo and video library of your Pitbull happily playing with kids, cuddling with you, or just being their general goofy self goes a long way to dispelling the stigma these breeds face.

It’s difficult for Landlords to remain unaffected when presented with evidence showing the “dangerous” Pitbull getting up to clown-ish antics and patiently playing with little kids.

This photographic evidence will also be helpful once you get permission to move into an apartment with your Pitbull. Many apartment living Pitbulls face a barrage of complaints from neighbors.

Concerned parents are anxious about these “dangerous” dogs being in the vicinity of their kids and object to the Pitbull based on the breed’s reputation.

Dealing with these prejudiced neighbors politely can be a challenge, but helping them positively interact with your Pitbull will go a long way to soothing their fears.

Related: Can a German Shepherd Live in an Apartment?

Money Talks When Getting A Pitbull Into An Apartment

Making a good faith offer of a higher deposit or pet levy is an excellent way of convincing the Landlord of your confidence in your Pitbull’s superb manners.

After all, would you be willing to put your money on the line if your thought your Pitbull was a genuine danger to the public?

The offer to pay additional fees is not a bribe but rather a gesture of goodwill demonstrating both your responsibility as a Pitbull owner and your confidence in your dog’s good behavior.

Renter’s Insurance Is Critical For Apartment Living Pitbulls

Prudent landlords will request that Pitbull owners have a renter’s insurance that offers pet liability in excess of $300,000.

No Landlord wants to foot the bill if your Pitbull does bite someone! You need to have the facilities to pay for any damages or lawsuits that may be brought against you in the event of your Pitbull biting a person.

Final Thoughts

Pitbulls can live in apartments if the state and city laws permit ownership of the breed, and the apartment rules allow Pitbulls to be kept as apartment pets.

Landlords often screen Pitbulls before allowing them to move into an apartment.

Sterilized Pitbulls with a good reputation, complete medical records, and friendly, non-aggressive temperaments are more likely to be allowed in apartments.