Pet fee, or pet rent. Preference?

13 Replies

We have always taken a non refundable pet fee, varying between 200-300 bucks.   But I've talked to fellow landlords in the area and they mostly add additional rent for pets, between 25-50 bucks a month.  Which do you guys see as preferable?   Or maybe a little of both?  100 dollar fee and 25 bucks a month?  

@Roger S. when I allowed pets, I did both. A while back I decided to just go with a no pet policy. 

@Roger S. I charge a $25.00 pet fee, per month, per pet. Charging per pet discourages those who want to have their 7 cats.

I used to charge a one-time pet fee but now charge pet rent.  Like @Steve R. said, it discourages tenants from getting too many pets.  Also, it's awkward to ask for another pet fee at lease renewal.  The pet rent/fee is a motivator for me to accept pets.  If I can't continue to collect it for as long as the pet is in the property, I have no motivation to accept pets.  Finally, the pet rent/fee is not to cover damage from the pets.  Pet damage is charged to the tenant.  I make that clear to the tenants.

Neither. I don't charge extra and make the determination on pets based on the applicant and the pet. We are local to all properties and visit the properties on occasion and we have never had an issue. 

I do not allow pets however if I did I would definatly charge a monthly pet rent. Probably $50.  A one time fee will not come close to covering damage that can not be repaired.

I purpose of a fee or monthly charge is a punishment to discourage tenants from having pets and for the landlord to benefit when they do. If they want a pet make them pay every month.

Finding landlords that allow pets is becoming more difficult. Tenants are having difficult finding receptive landlords in some areas meaning that landlords should be charging as much as the market will bear. Worse case scenario is you get a tenant without pets.

A pet fee is one time and typically not large enough to mitigate damages.

I charge monthly pet rent based on the type/size of the animal. If someone wants to rent a house with two large dogs, it will cost them $100 a month. If they leave the home in great shape, it's extra money in my pocket. If they cause damage, I apply the deposit first, then I use the extra pet money to cover anything left over. I still go after the tenant to recover those expenses but at least I haven't eaten into my base rent income.

While you get a $350 fee up front, I get an extra $1,200 a year or $3,600 in three years. Big difference!

Do some research and see what your local market can support. In many markets you will find a slew of curmudgeons like @Thomas S. (kidding) that reject pets under any circumstance and this should be seen as an opportunity for you to make some extra money.

I charge both, but in pretty small amounts (I believe its $50 for the deposit plus $15/pet/month), but accepting pets is one of my big selling points. Most in my market don't allow them at all or charge exorbitant fees. Also, now that I think about it, I have never had a tenants who let their pet trash the house who didn't ALSO trash the house in some other way.

I recently discovered landlords charge a monthly fee and since then, we do also. In addition to a non-refundable deposit. You'd be amazed - or not - what tenants are willing to pay for their pets on a yearly basis and how that really improves your first year return.

@Roger S. I don't allow pets.  I'd rather not deal w/ the additional damage they'll likely cause.  If I had to allow pets, like if my area demanded it, I would rather charge pet rent.  

Robert you are missing out on a easy and lucrative income stream that there is no reason to avoid. Pet owners will gladly pay through the nose.

As Nathan points out landlords like myself are setting you up to achieve higher profits with no additional risk than you are already taking. You missing the bus.                    

Its possible that I am losing a little income. My logic at the time (and I still believe this to be true) is that we get a better relationship with our tenants by not penalizing them for owning a pet and that it serves as a nice marketing draw (we offer PET FRIENDLY houses w/ a fenced in yard). We certainly get enough students from the local veterinary school in as tenants.

@Roger S. ,

We do both!  Ours is very small ($100 non refundable deposit, $10/mo pet rent) but it's mainly to discourage  from getting more pets!    

You should absolutely charge something, because  it will be eye opening how many tenants get pets if there are no immediate financial cost.. think of the fee as a "Pause" button you make tenants think through the process more!  

 I don't see it as a penalty at all!   Dogs will scratch stuff,   chew on stuff, and cause damages, blinds will be destroyed, it's CYA!    Taking from a non-refundable fee is A LOT easier than explaining logically why you have to remove portions of their security deposit!

this post was amazingly helpful. Thanks! 

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