Can Apartments Allow Reptiles?

do apartments allow reptiles

Apartment complexes often impose pet restrictions based on species, size or behavior. Some lizards do not thrive in small spaces while many cats and dogs typically don’t cause damage in apartments; however gerbils, snakes or parrots could potentially become destructive.

Landlords may consider adding a “pet addendum” to their lease agreements for pet owners who own exotic species of pets, typically including an upfront payment as part of this clause.

Landlords and Apartment Complexes

Landlords may impose rules about which animals can stay in their apartments, and these can vary widely between complexes. Many apartment complexes prohibit larger pets like cats and dogs due to potential damage and noise problems; other landlords don’t permit any pets at all in their buildings. Some landlords may allow smaller caged pets that pose less of a threat for damage such as hamsters, gerbils, fish or lizards;

Some landlords may hesitate to allow reptiles due to concerns over salmonella germs and other health concerns, or fearing they can escape and disturb or scare other tenants in the building, especially elderly or young residents.

If you are considering getting a reptile as a pet, start your search early to ensure that one will accept them. When considering an apartment with a pet policy that allows reptiles, read it thoroughly before meeting with its landlord to sign a lease agreement. Before signing, inquire as to whether any specific requirements exist regarding length restrictions for lizards or whether all heat lamps need to be switched off at night.

Most apartments that allow reptiles require a pet deposit, just as they would for dogs or cats. This deposit will cover cleaning, repair and other expenses related to your reptile. Some smaller caged pets don’t need deposits such as goldfish in an aquarium or hamsters and gerbils who never leave their enclosures; however large birds such as parrots may do significant damage and require deposits when living in apartments.

Some apartments may prohibit certain reptiles, including iguanas and bearded dragons, due to their potentially large sizes posing a safety threat for other residents. If you’re new to owning reptiles, leopard geckos or dwarf iguanas may make better starter pets as they won’t become too large and are easy to care for. If this is your first reptile purchase, these species should provide ample room to grow over time!


If you are considering getting a pet reptile as a tenant in an apartment building or other living arrangement, it is wise to speak to your landlord first. While many landlords are fine with domestic animals such as cats and dogs, some might be more restrictive about exotic creatures like turtles, hamsters, guinea pigs or five gallon aquarium fish as these caged pets should generally not present any problems for landlords.

Assuming you decide to adopt an iguana as your pet, keep these key considerations in mind: Iguanas can live up to 15-20 years when kept as house pets in captivity – be prepared for long-term commitment! Additionally, be mindful when handling an aggressive animal. To find a good breeder and handle carefully.

Some people can be allergic to iguanas, so it’s essential that before bringing one into your home. Iguanas may carry salmonella bacteria; therefore it is advisable to visit an exotic animal vet regularly for health examinations and parasite checks.

Make sure that you and your landlord sign a written agreement regarding what kind of pet you plan on getting and its care plan, to prevent any future problems and ensure compliance with local and state laws regarding exotic animal keeping.

Most apartment complexes will not have an issue with snakes provided they are kept in an appropriately-sized cage and not near bathrooms or bedrooms where they could cause damage. If, however, your landlord has added language into their lease agreement which states “no snakes” or “no pets of any kind”, this may not be acceptable and you should seek other options for housing.

Landlords and housing agencies tend to prioritize tenant safety over that of pets, but it doesn’t hurt to consult your landlord or housing agency before bringing a snake into an apartment building. Doing this will give you peace of mind that your pet won’t disrupt other renters or neighbors in any way.


Not everyone wants a cat or dog as pets; reptiles may be more appealing. Can they keep one in an apartment setting? Luckily, most landlords won’t object if the reptile will stay within its tank rather than wander around freely.

Leopard geckos and bearded dragons can be kept in tanks that hold 10 gallons, as they are calm creatures that can be handled easily and enjoy socialization with their owners. Apartment dwellers might consider keeping one as they don’t require as much space.

Chameleons may be more challenging to keep as pets in an apartment setting due to their wide-eyed stare and ability to change colors quickly, and their prickly skin. Furthermore, handling them frequently can stress out these creatures out and reduce life expectancy significantly compared to other lizards.

Rosy Boa lizards make great apartment pets as they are non-venomous, docile and don’t reach great lengths in maturity. Additionally, they can be trained to stay put within their enclosure for feeding or playing time with owners – very social, with tank requirements at 20 gallons or less.

Keep a lizard in an apartment can be an enjoyable experience if you do your research and discuss it with your landlord. If they don’t know much about these exotic creatures, education them about their needs like tank size, food requirements and temperature regulations may prove helpful.

Additionally, it’s advisable to determine whether your landlord has any specific concerns with certain pets such as monkeys and pot-bellied pigs which might create issues in their homes like burrowing under carpets or damaging property. If this type of pet poses any potential issues in an apartment environment, alternative care options might be more suitable than ever.


Snakes make excellent pets in apartment complexes because they don’t grow very large. Furthermore, these ectotherms are typically very clean animals that won’t damage property; however they require special habitats and equipment, with some breeds more demanding than others in terms of care requirements. Snakes tend to be skittish at first; over time however they usually become more comfortable around people and begin showing more affection than dogs or cats do.

Egg-eating snakes such as corn snakes or king snakes make an excellent option for renters looking to add reptiles. As adults, these slithery reptiles typically don’t exceed three feet in size – perfect for apartments. Furthermore, these small reptiles tend not to bite and make for ideal starter pets.

Garter and python snakes can be difficult to convince landlords to accept as pets due to their active nature and tendency to shed easily against walls or windows when necessary. Furthermore, these reptiles require larger enclosures than many others due to being potentially aggressive species.

As for snakes, some have been reported as harboring salmonella bacteria which can be dangerous to those without experience handling reptiles or immune deficiencies, prompting some landlords to restrict or ban these reptiles even when not prohibited by their lease agreements. This makes some landlords unwilling to permit tenants keeping these reptiles.

A great way to approach this situation is to talk directly with your landlord. Most lease agreements contain clauses or addendums describing which animals are permitted, although these don’t always specifically exclude snakes. Be honest when discussing why you want a pet snake and provide any documentation of special needs such as getting certified as an emotional support animal from a therapist or veterinarian.

July 12, 2023 4:42 pm