Pet Fee/Deposit per pet and renewals?

14 Replies

Questions:

Landlords that rent to pet owners. 

1. Do you charge a pet fee per pet?

2. Do you collect this fee once, or with each renewal? 

Thanks in advance....

@Jay H. Recently I placed an ad on Craiglist where I'm asking $25/month/pet and people who called and came to viewed the unit didn't have an issue with that. Pet lovers are more than happy to pay for their loves especially when a lot of places don't cater to pets. Since I have carpet (and even if I didnt') I have to cater to repair/cleaning expense from smell/stains whenever that tenant moves on,.

Make sure you can do it where your rental is.  Non-refundable fees are not legal in CA.  Landlords do it, but if the tenant ever fights you over it, you'll have to deal with it.

If they're legal for you, people are willing to pay it.  They may try to sneak a pet in and not pay for it.

I'd ask for a hefty security deposit, too, for any pet owners - big enough to cover you in case they sneak more pets in.  

I was advised to never call any deposit a pet deposit, because it can be an issue in court, where you have to separate out what damage gets deducted from which deposit, etc.  Best to just ask for a bigger security deposit that can be used for anything.

Also, just FYI, my daughter had a rental in CA, and she advertised it at a higher rent than market, but said she'd accept dogs 25 pounds or under.  It's really difficult to find rentals that will accept dogs where her rental was.  She had no trouble renting it for the higher rent, because of the demand for a rental that would accept dogs.

If you do that, you get the higher rent, without having to deal with pet fees.  

Another friend of mine advertised her place saying she'd accept large breed dogs that aren't on any restricted breed list - same thing, her phone blew up because it's so hard to find a rental that will accept large breed dogs.

So, if it's hard for tenants in your area to find a place that will even accept pets, or accept large breed dogs, you could just up the rent and say you'll accept them, and see if you can't get it rented at the higher rent that way.

FWIW.

Advice.

DON'T ALLOW PETS. TENANTS ARE ****** PEOPLE AND THEIR PETS WILL RUIN EVERYTHING ESPECIALLY.  

NOT WORTH THE HEADACHE.

Trust me!

Michael

Thanks for the responses. To clarify, I'm not debating the point of allowing pets. I am simply asking two distinct questions to actual landlords that currently allow pets. 

1. Do you charge per pet?

2. Do you charge upon each renewal term? 

Jay

My lease says 35 per pet per month...but I'm a sucker for animals so if they have two pets I might let them slide with just the 35. Don't be like me always stick to your guns but I found that no matter what pets are going to ruin something wether it's carpet, trim, doors , etc.

I work construction and went to a house to replace a floor that wasn't that old but they never cleaned up when the dogs peed on it. It wasn't even close to being able to save and smelled awful.

My moms cats sleep in her bay window at home and all Of the woodwork is completely ruined because of their claws.

There are a million things that can and some probably will go wrong with animals. I love them to death but they are not the friendliest house guests

Originally posted by @Jay H. :

Thanks for the responses. To clarify, I'm not debating the point of allowing pets. I am simply asking two distinct questions to actual landlords that currently allow pets. 

1. Do you charge per pet?

2. Do you charge upon each renewal term? 

Jay

 To clarify, it depends on the law where you live.  In CA, a separate fee for pets is not allowed.  So, in CA, the answer is:

1. No

2. No

Are pet fees allowed where you live?  If so, go for it.

Originally posted by @Jay H. :

Questions:

Landlords that rent to pet owners. 

1. Do you charge a pet fee per pet?

2. Do you collect this fee once, or with each renewal? 

 1) Yes.  I charge a non-refundable pet fee of about $300-$400.  I can't remember the exact amount at the moment.  I also charge an additional $25/month pet rent per pet.

2) I charged the non-refundable fee only once during an entire tenancy.  The extra $25/month pet rent remains in place for as long as the tenant and pet(s) remain in my property.

We charge $300 for a PET Cleaning Fee for up to 2 small pre-approved animals and $20 additional rent per pet per month. We use the Pet Cleaning Fee to hire a cleaning service to do a 'top down' on the house after they move out. We explain it in a way that they understand "not everyone are pet lovers and appreciate the smell of pets in their newly rented home, so we have to get that smell out before the new tenant moves in".

Some people complain, generally those prospective tenants that wouldn't be accepted anyway, but the serious pet lovers have no issue with this policy as they understand that most LL's aren't pet friendly and their rental options are limited.

I raise the rent, usually 25/month if they have a pet

I actually wrote an entire article on this subject ;)

We offer either a one month refundable security deposit or $50 pet rent. As always it depends on your local law but we offer options and have done well allowing pets

Originally posted by @Jay H. :

Thanks for the responses. To clarify, I'm not debating the point of allowing pets. I am simply asking two distinct questions to actual landlords that currently allow pets. 

1. Do you charge per pet?

2. Do you charge upon each renewal term? 

Jay

 1. I'm with the "raise the rent" crew.  Adding a pet charge is dicey in VT, so I avoid it completely.

2. I can't keep a pet deposit beyond my standard security so I build it into the rent.  My leases say "no pets" so I have a reason to use the security deposit if I have to clean up after their pets.  I guess the answer to your question is "yes." :)

Yes, always charge a pet fee.  I consider it as an addition to the deposit.

1. $300 per pet.  Only 2 pets allowed, so a total of $600.

2. I take it just at the beginning.

My pet deposit is fully refundable at the end of the lease if the property comes back clean as a whistle.  I believe this provides incentive to the tenant to control their pets.

I will usually do an inspection at the time that the tenant gives me a 30 day notice to vacate.  That way I can identify and spot things that need to be fix/replaced and tell the tenant to take care of these things prior to move out.  If they take care of them beforehand, that's less that the pet deposit may have to cover, and they are appreciative in getting more of their deposit back.

Also, here in AZ I am allowed to take 150% of a month's rent as a security deposit.  So I calculate my security deposit as 150% of rent minus the $600.  That way if I have a tenant that has 2 pets, I still abide by the law.

Hello,

I allow cats but not dogs.

I prefer to take a pet deposit, $300 and it is treated as additional security deposit.  Our security deposits are one month's rent and the maximum deposit allowed in Michigan is 1.5 the monthly rent, so recently I took a lower pet deposit so as not to exceed that- the rent on that apartment is $550 so the pet deposit was $275.

We have purchased 2 properties with pets in place, both were charging a monthly pet fee ($50 for two small dogs in one building, $30 for a dog and cat together in the other).  The problem I have with this is that the animals might have been living there for years before our purchase, and there is no additional deposit to cover the damages when they move out and we are the owners.  That being said, it doesn't really matter to the seller since it is no longer their problem...

I am keeping an eye on local landlord practices, it seems like there is a move towards collecting 1.5X rent in deposit now.  If we go that route, I might go back to the monthly fee or just charge a lump sum nonrefundable pet fee at the beginning of the lease instead.

Kelly

To add-on to this thread, I have recently had tenant applicants with either lousy credit OR a large dog. Specifically, 2 potentials with a Mastiff. How do you feel about this? I am concerned to say the least.

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