I am unsure how high to set my pet fee/ deposit. Most people say around $250! But our rental is going up for $1850 per month. 3 bedroom/ 3 bath. 2000 sq ft. My husband says one months rent for a pet deposit, but that seems like people would balk!
What should I do?
I do 1/2 month's rent for SFRs in the Southeastern PA that rent for around $1,200. I make it more appealing by offering a refund at the end of the lease if there is no detectable pet-related wear and tear, including that which might be considered normal pet-related wear and tear. No complaints yet and I haven't lost anyone who inquired.
Increase the rent by $100/month for dogs. If the rental market for landlords accepting pets is tight they will pay. If it is not then don't bother allowing ets.
Chances are a dog will do more damage than the deposit will cover as most renters are extremely irresponsible.
Do NOT call it a pet deposit unless you are willing to refund it. Deposits are liabilities. Fees are earned. I get a minimum $250 pet fee when I accept a tenant with pets. When they renew, I do not charge anything additional.
On a $1700 house we just rented, we charged $400 pet deposit plus $25 extra a month for the pet. We didn't get a pet on this house, but I this this common fee structure in our Seattle and suburban/rural area.
No deposit. Just increase the rent and budget for repairs.
Thanks everyone for your advice! It is greatly appreciated!
I've charged $500 fee per pet upfront before (one-time). For the new tenants I did $25/mo, per pet. I had no issue with either but i wanted to peg it per month in case they stay more than 2 years.
I charge a non-refundable $600 up front fee plus $25/month per pet. Just be careful about charging a monthly fee. They'll often lie and say they got rid of it. If you find they request the removal of the pet fee, you'll have to do your due diligence on checking up on it. Other times they'll get a pet after the fact and "forget" to mention it. Then there are the non-standard pets that are harder to detect like snakes, lizards, hamsters, etc. Nobody walks their pet weasel. Also, make sure you spell out exactly what kind of animals are acceptable. What breeds are excluded(sometimes required by county or city ordinances forbidding dogs like pit bulls).
I charge $400 per month per pet as a refundable security deposit, but I incorporate it into the whole security deposit, for legal reasons in Oregon. I don't call it a "pet deposit." Nonrefundable pet fees are exploitative IMO because if there's no damage, they should not be charged.
More importantly, if it's refundable, the tenant has a lot more incentive to make sure there is no damage. A nonrefundable fee could make some renters feel resentful and not take as good of care of your property. (e.g. "We're not getting it back anyway, so who cares?") When I was a renter, I thought that nonrefundable fees were exploitative, as I took excellent care of the properties and left them in pristine condition.
I also don't charge pet rent. I do, however, accept pets and price my units accordingly. That means that while there's no "pet rent," the units are already priced with it. If someone with no pets wants to pay that amount, more power to them.
There's a lot to be said for creating goodwill with tenants, especially in the beginning. It sets the tone for the entire relationship. You want your tenants on your side, referring their friends to you, and leaving the property in good condition. Penalizing them with fees and "pet rent" doesn't set a cooperative tone. If the pet rent is incorporated into the rent, they won't care nor will they know, but it will feel like they're being treated as responsible adults rather than as children. People appreciate that. I would have appreciated that when I was a renter.