Typical Pet fees/ deposits

12 Replies

I typically do owner financing ( LC, Lease Options), fix and flips or wholesale deals but few rentals. Have a house I remodeled (new carpet, paint and everything else). Have a prospective renter with 3 large dogs (apparently 2 at time of move-in). In the past I've required $250 refundable and an extra $35 per pet (or $50 for 2, negotiable depending on pet) on top of rent non-refundable.  What are others charging?

I get up to date vet paperwork and meet the dogs. With that I don't add to the security, but I do add $25/month/pet with a 2 pet max. Both parts are important. Dogs do depreciate it faster so it has to be accounted for since you have refinish the floors more often, replace vent filters, etc; the vet paperwork is more to ensure they're well cared for, than the liability of it.

Originally posted by @Ryan Gillette :

I get up to date vet paperwork and meet the dogs. With that I don't add to the security, but I do add $25/month/pet with a 2 pet max. Both parts are important. Dogs do depreciate it faster so it has to be accounted for since you have refinish the floors more often, replace vent filters, etc; the vet paperwork is more to ensure they're well cared for, than the liability of it.

Thanks for input. I like the verification of paperwork to ensure they are responsible pet owners.

I am not a fan of large dogs. The additional wear and tear on the unit may not be worth the few extra dollars you charge. I have one unit with a small dog and I charged a one time pet fee of $250. Make sure that you don't refer to any fee as a deposit. That may have legal impact and require it be refunded. If this was my house, I would pass on 3 large dogs.

@Josh Cunningham

You might also want to contact your insurance company as well because some "dangerous breeds" may cause the premium to increase or limit your options for insurance carriers.

We recently got a questionnaire from our insurance company due to the fact our tenant had a "Beware of Dog" sign when an insurance inspector drove by property and had to submit pictures, vet records, and a statement saying the dogs weren't dangerous.  

All this for 2 Yorkies that are 12+ years old!

I say that I evaluate pets on a case by case basis but I am pretty sure I don't want dogs because I have all hardwood and/or laminate and don't need them scratching it up. Plus I don't need people stepping in dog dung in the yard. I'll allow cats in certain apartments because they are much less maintenance and can't cause as much damage as a dog. 

@Josh Cunningham Definitely check with your insurance policy. I have been amazed as of late on what insurance companies list as banned dog breeds. 

We do not personally allow pets in our units (we did and had a tenant with dogs cause several thousands in damages).  But if when I did, we would require a $250 pet fee.  We did not charge extra pet rent.

But if we were to accept pets again, we would also charge additional pet rent.  I think that $25 per pet is a good number.  
As for the size of the dog, I don't really concern myself with that.  I have personally found that smaller animals do more damage, but I know that is very subjective.  I would definitely be more concerned with meeting the animals than their size.

no biting history, pet agreement signed, no visiting pets, no unapproved replacements, $150 pet *fee* (not refundable - just the word "deposit" implies refundable) per animal and $25 rent bump. 

As Jim pointed out, your local code may have a maximum allowable.  For larger dogs that can do damage to flooring, furniture, doors, etc, I've seen deposits ranging from $150 - $350. Another option is a monthly pet fee. This is helpful because pets can cause wear and tear on other areas of a rental space not specific to the tenant (hallways, exterior, etc.). Monthly fees are usually  $15 - $30 per month. If you go higher on the deposit, you might go lower on the monthly fee.  One final option is to ask for a yearly pet fee (consider charging $250-$350) and no deposit.

Hi Josh- not sure about your area, but nicer rentals in central Florida can charge $300 per pet for a fee. Not a deposit, it is a one time fee.

I would really think about what type of flooring you have in your rental. A very large percentage of dogs are going to either destroy or stain your carpet over time. That's why it is so important to get a pet fee.

Also, keep in mind that a pet fee is just a fee to the tenants for the right to have a dog there. The tenants are still responsible for maintaining the unit! If there are pet stains on the carpet, the damage is deducted from the security deposit! A lot of tenants have the wrong thinking on this, and think just because they paid a pet fee, they won't be responsible if their pet destroys the carpet. Not the case. Also a good idea to explain this policy up front to your tenants.

Good luck!