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General Landlording & Rental Properties

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Sean Poggi
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Charging Tenants for Pet Deposit?

Sean Poggi
Posted Jan 28 2024, 13:36

In Oregon, I know you can charge a refundable pet deposit, but curious how this typically goes for Landlords that have done this in the past.

What do you typically charge? (I was thinking $150)

If there are carpets, do you require professional cleaning after?

What has been your experiences?

First time doing a long term rental and initially wasn't planning on opening up to pets, but it seems like a lot of people have pets in Oregon...

Thanks for any thoughts!

Best,

Sean

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Troy P.
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  • Baton Rouge, LA
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Troy P.
  • Investor
  • Baton Rouge, LA
Replied Jan 28 2024, 13:44

I allow small, non-dangerous pets and do a $250 pet deposit, regardless of flooring.  This should not be confused with pet rent, which is non-refundable and less desirable as a landlord in my opinion.  With a non-refundable fee, tenants are not incentivized to keep the property in good shape.

With quarterly property walk-throughs, you should be able to identify any damage before it gets worse.  Any costs exceeding the pet deposit will come out of the typical security deposit.  The pet deposit is just there to supplement if needed.  The property should be cleaned by tenant or at tenant's expense upon moving out.  Any required cleaning also comes out of the security deposit funds.  This should all be spelled out very clearly in your lease.

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Bruce Woodruff
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  • Contractor/Investor/Consultant
  • West Valley Phoenix
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Bruce Woodruff
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  • West Valley Phoenix
Replied Jan 28 2024, 13:55

If you don't want pets, don't take them. There are plenty of non-pet owners out there. Or you can limit it to small breeds, etc.

The only pets that you must take are Service Animals... and some legit ESAs.

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Alex Wesling
  • Investor
  • Indiana
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Alex Wesling
  • Investor
  • Indiana
Replied Jan 28 2024, 17:10

We charge $500 pet fee that’s non refundable. I do like the above statement about doing a refundable fee to ensure you’re enticing people to take care of the property. We have 21 properties and only allow pets in 3 of them due to pets already being on site at purchase. They do a ton of damage and pet owners can be shiesty with the care for damage and “staining”

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Glen Wiley
  • Investor
  • Richmond, VA
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Glen Wiley
  • Investor
  • Richmond, VA
Replied Jan 28 2024, 18:04
We charge a non-refundable $150-200 pet deposit for our rentals in the $2000month range (Virginia). We also have a monthly $50 pet fee.

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Jacob G.
  • Ankeny, IA
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Jacob G.
  • Ankeny, IA
Replied Jan 28 2024, 19:04

I do an additional 1/2  month security deposit as it can be used for any issues and all animals (pet or ESA) must be seen by a certified animal trainer to ensure they are not a threat to  people or property. If prospects ask questions on the policy I let them know my first tenant moved the sweetest dog [Pitbull] in that ended up attacking the neighbor and her dog when they were unloading groceries.The neighbor asked I ensure this never happens again.

The animal trainer evaluates the dog and gives recommendations to the owner and let's me know what they think. I've found doing this results in a better tenant, but can take a bit longer to rent the property when it goes vacant.

Additionally, put age restrictions on pets (not on ESAs). For ESAs state you verify details with the healthcare professional per HUDs recommendation (their recommendations state the provider must have a relationship and not be one of the pay $$$ and get a certificate websites).

Also check with your insurance on disallowed breeds. When a prospect contacts you with one of those breeds, forward your carrier's details and let them know you look forward to moving along with the process once the insurance provider sends documentation the prospect's dog is allowed.

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Alecia Loveless
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Alecia Loveless
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Replied Jan 28 2024, 20:26

@Sean Poggi I don’t charge pet deposit or pet rent. My pet tenants are more responsible than the other tenants and tend to stay much longer than the non pet tenants.

I have not had problems with pet tenants. Even when I have walked into apartments that have had cats and I have smelled a litter box when they have moved out the smell has been all gone.

I have had more problems with tenants who are closet smokers than with pet tenants. I have had to kilz paint ceilings, floors, and sometimes even remove Sheetrock and floors of people who were illegally smoking in units as opposed to people with pets In their units where I have had no issues.

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Sean Poggi
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Sean Poggi
Replied Jan 29 2024, 05:50

Wow, thank you all for all the thoughts. Definitely a wide range of perspectives. In Oregon, definitely are limited on options (can't do non refundable deposit, can't do fee), so will need to find something that aligns there. Hearing all the stories though is definitely helpful and will help me ask some different questions. 

Cheers!

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Virnisha Pastore
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Virginia Beach, VA
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Virnisha Pastore
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Virginia Beach, VA
Replied Jan 29 2024, 05:59

Hey, we usually charge a 10% refundable pet deposit for anything the size of a cat or bigger. We don't worry about anything smaller like guinea pigs and rabbits. We don't charge the pets rent because they don't have jobs. Never had an issue, we've had more damage from people with small kids than tenants with pets. 

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Replied Jan 29 2024, 06:09

I do a refundable pet deposit. I feel it gives the tenant more incentive to keep the property from having pet damage. We do limit the number of pets however to 2 or sometimes 3 depending on what it is and size of pet.  $250 refundable pet deposit per pet.