How do you charge renters with pets?

15 Replies

How do you charge renters with pets? Do you charge per pet and if so how much? Do you charge a different fee for cats vs dogs? What if they have a dog and a cat, then how do you charge?  Do you charge a one time fee or a monthly fee or both? Thanks for your input in advance. 

We have short term rentals and charge a $50 fee per pet for extra cleaning costs. 

I think a larger security deposit and a small extra monthly fee (per pet) is fair. I wouldn’t differentiate between cats and dogs because both can do damage.

We do not charge extra. However, we require proof from a vet that each pet has been spayed or neutered and proof of renter’s insurance which covers their pet(s).

@Georgee Gilbert Legally in California you can charge an additional $500 for a pet. It doesn't mean per pet (is my understanding). As a result, that is typically what we charge and no additional amount in rent. In total, we have about 5 tenants with pets and it seems to work out just fine. Our typical requirement is that the property itself has private outdoor space either a yard, deck or patio. It has worked as a nice rule of thumb for us.

I live and have a rental in Virginia. I charge a $300 mom-refundable pet deposit per pet and a $25 per pet monthly fee. I’m glad that I did this because the two dogs my tenant brought into the home without permission has caused damages to the neighbors fence. When I found the evidence of the dogs I talked to the neighbors and sure enough they’ve been there for a while. So I charged them $500 per pet so a total fee of $1000. My property manager made sure the tenant initialed the spot in the lease to make them aware of the violation prior to it becoming an issue.

Lease reads no pets. Addendum reads pet X can stay as long as a host of things happen/ don’t happen. This allows eviction of the animal without absolving tenant of responsibilities.

I currently charge:
$100-$150 monthly added for a dog.
$50-$75 monthly for a cat.

And 9 of my 10 unit’s are pet Friendly currently.

This is an undertapped source of income in most areas. Where I’m at fewer than 1% of rentals allow pets and The majority of those only allow cats.

No animals under one year of age. Must be licensed at all time. Always prescreen the animal. Always add it straight to rent amount no “pet rent” even if allowed. This way the reduction in rent if Fido croaks (or try leave him on the highway) is your option, not your requirement.

Monthly visits for the first 120 days. After that your regular quarterly should do it if your finger is still on the pulse.

There’s a skill to this. Pets cause far less damage than a 2-5 year old does. And they earn way more income.

If you’re on the fence about trying it, wait till your flooring is in need of replacing.

Deposit $150 per animal. Prefer non dogs. The dog pee will stay on floor/subfloor very much forever after ripping the surface flooring(carpet etc). The odor stays there for years.

The easier thing is to not rent to people with pets. If you choose to you will probably regret it. The animals can do more damage than you will make up for with a larger deposit or a small monthly fee. Then there is the liability issue. Dogs bite. 

All of my places have wood floors and an extra $200 deposit is fair.  If you have carpeting it is not advisable to rent to pets unless want to change carpet.

We charge a 500 non-refundable pet fee. We also make it clear (and write it in the lease) that the 500 dollars is a fee and does not count towards any damages the pets might cause.

We don't charge anything extra, and we do rent to people who have pets. Each situation is a case by case basis. I would estimate 75% of potential renters have pets (we have SFHs only), so limiting pets would wipe 3/4 of the potential market. Some basic guidelines we follow: no carpet in any units; waterproof laminate and vinyl in homes without original hardwood floors; no more than 2 pets in a unit; no "outdoor" animals allowed; all animals must be fixed with shots, housebroken, and well-socialized; animal waste is to be picked up no less than several times per week; ETC. 

My experience: if the person is worth renting to, the pet will be 0 problems. I am guessing we've had probably 30 pets in our units by now, and the only damage has been a few cat scratches on a piece of trim. Kids do more damage than pets. Good, quality renters tend to be responsible pet owners. 

Caveat: we do all our own screening of potential tenants. If you were having a property manager screen your tenants, you better have a really good property manager. 

We've started doing pet deposits and rent. It's a valuable additional income that we wouldn't otherwise have. We use vinyl flooring wherever possible anyway so we've got that going for us.

The only problem we've had is a dog that escapes and harasses the animal control officer. We've been working with the tenant on that one. No damage to any of the units in the last year that we've allowed pets and I'd say almost half the units have them.

Thanks Seth, yes the thought of the extra income is a bonus. 

@Georgee Gilbert ,

We do low income rentals,  and we charge $100/nonrefundable deposit/pet, and then it's $10/mo pet rent.      It's all about your market, and the type of tenants/homes you have.   I will say, 100%--- how responsible the owner is, will reflect how destructive the animal is.      

I don't really see the money as a bonus, I see it as a quick compensation for damage likely to occur.

One time we followed up on a plumbing issue, and found cat poop (and the most horrible cat urine smell ever)  on the stairs-- and I said "well, the cat has some fecal problems because I can't see you not cleaning up feces"  and the tenant (who we evicted) told me "oh no, I saw it, and meant to clean it up" ...  on the flip side, we rent to an older lady, 4 dogs, 700 sq ft apt, never had a single problem!  All about the person and how they care for them!

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