TOPIC: Pet Deposits, Pet Fees, and Pet Rent: Appropriate or Inappropriate?

Pet Deposits, Pet Fees, and Pet Rent: Appropriate or Inappropriate? 3 years 8 months ago #5128

I'd like to open a discussion of the appropriateness or inappropriateness of pet deposits, pet fees, and pet rent.

To get things started here are few realities associated with pets and the rental property space they might occupy and share.

- Some renters and would-be renters have a pet(s).

- It may not be possible to rent an apartment (leading to lost rent revenue) that has a history of pet occupancy (allergies to pet dander, odors, physical damage, etc).

- Location depending there is some level (X) of demand for rental accommodations that allow pets.

- It is reasonable to expect a rental property owner to view having a pet a privilege.

- It is reasonable to expect some type of wear and tear directly associated with having a pet in a rental property.

- Dogs and cats are consumers of resources.

- Rental properties are a business, hopefully having sustainability as a goal and realizing that its responsibility lies with stakeholders (i.e., anyone influenced, either, directly or indirectly, by its actions.

- There are social benefits and social costs associated with pets. Some of these benefits and costs accrue to the pet owner, some of them accrue to the rental property ownership, and some of them accrue to other stakeholders, such as neighbors and future renters.

In view of the above and other numerous considerations that I've undoubtedly failed to mention what is your take on the appropriateness or inappropriateness of refundable pet deposits, non-refundable pet fees, and pet rent monthly or otherwise?
  • Stephan Pollard
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Re:Pet Deposits, Pet Fees, and Pet Rent: Appropriate or Inappropriate? 3 years 5 months ago #5860

I strongly agree with Pet Fees and Pet Deposits. All carpets require at least a "pet treatment" in addition to the usual clean (if not completely replaced). In Texas, the TAA lease states the if the resident has a pet, they "will be charged for defleaing, deodorizing, and shampooing." There is your pet fee.I think $200-300 is reasonable.

I would say maybe 3 out of 4 apartments have additional damage outside normal wear-and-tear directly due to the presence of a pet. There is your pet deposit. Again, I think $200-300 is reasonable, although I have seen up to $500-600. I have never seen anyone do it, but what about different required deposit amounts based on breed or size?

That being said, unattended children do just as much damage as unattended pets. I would love to charge "kid fees" and "children deposits" if, you know, it wasn't illegal. ;)

And yes, I live in an apartment, and have a dog. I expect a pet fee and pet deposits, although I hate pet rent.
  • AB
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Re:Pet Deposits, Pet Fees, and Pet Rent: Appropriate or Inappropriate? 3 years 5 months ago #5862

This is why you should have Renter's insurance. It covers pet damage, just submit the charge and it is paid. No Need for fees or pet rent.
E.
  • EricKNSeattle
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Re:Pet Deposits, Pet Fees, and Pet Rent: Appropriate or Inappropriate? 3 years 5 months ago #5893

Never under estimate the price a pet owner is willing to pay to have a pet. With most understaning the potential damage and hating the inevitable arguments at the end of the lease we have found that we can actually take a non-refundable carpet fee at the beginning of the lease(in addition to the refundable deposit) equal to the cost of the carpet. We tell the resident that we will be using the money to replace the carpet regardless of the condition and we do. Here's the result: no arguing at the end of the lease, pet owner dowsn't stress throughout the term of the lease and the new resident rents at the higher price for a unit with a new carpet and loves it.

Of course this may not be possible in all cases but if your pet owners are limited on choices this can be a win win option to consider.
  • Peter Jorde
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Re:Pet Deposits, Pet Fees, and Pet Rent: Appropriate or Inappropriate? 3 years 5 months ago #5904

Peter, I love that idea! :woohoo: It is one that I may utilize on certain properties. As for how we do things, we always charge both a monthly pet rent and a non refundable pet fee for each pet. Our non refundable pet fees range from $150 - $300 per month and our monthly pet rent ranges from $15 - $30 per pet per month. The monthly fees add more monthly revenue which our owners love and the non refundable pet fee normally takes care of the extra clean up after the tenants vacate. We have the fees clearly stated in the leases so that there are no problems. I have found that tenants do not mind paying the extra charges. You have to remember that most pets are treated like family, and there owners don’t mind paying the price to take care of them.

Chiccorra Connor
Last Edit: 2 years 1 month ago by Brent Williams.

Re:Pet Deposits, Pet Fees, and Pet Rent: Appropriate or Inappropriate? 3 years 3 weeks ago #6774

What if your going to get charged a pet deposit of $200(refundable), pet fee of $300(non-refundable) and pet rent of $25 per month.

This just sounds completely ridiculous to me and HIGHLY illegal... Any thoughts?
  • Jack P.
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Re:Pet Deposits, Pet Fees, and Pet Rent: Appropriate or Inappropriate? 3 years 3 weeks ago #6775

Jack~ Not sure how this can be seen as illegal. You are not legally required to allow pets (except those that are service animals) so how is it illegal to charge anything you want for the privilege of having a pet? Don't get me wrong I think the senerio you mentioned is crazy, but ultimately it's the landlords right as far as I know. I am a dog lover and volunteer with as well as foster dogs all the time. One thing I have done as a property manager is offer reduced pet fees of $200 (ours is usually $250 per pet) for those who privide proof of adoption as well pets that are spayed/neutered. I still charge the regular $15 pet rent for month.
The first and only apt I ever lived in charged $500 non-refundable and $50 per month. I didn't like it, but paid it anyway. Unfortuanely I was not in the business at that time and was charged for scratches to a sliding door that were there at move-in, (was never offered a move-in inspection forms) but that's another story.

Re:Pet Deposits, Pet Fees, and Pet Rent: Appropriate or Inappropriate? 3 years 3 weeks ago #6778

My experience has been that people will pay pet fees or deposits, but balk at pet rent and see it as an insult. I know of one property that started pet rent and they immediately dropped in occupancy and notices shot upward. I've talked with several people about it--pet owners really hate that one element. I suspect that in the coming years "pet rent" will become illegal, just as "kid rent" is of course now.

Re:Pet Deposits, Pet Fees, and Pet Rent: Appropriate or Inappropriate? 3 years 2 weeks ago #6779

Just remember - a service animal is not a pet! So no pet rent, pet fees or the like for people with disabilities needing their animal.

Re:Pet Deposits, Pet Fees, and Pet Rent: Appropriate or Inappropriate? 2 years 2 months ago #9035

If you put a claim into your insurance, which is not rental insurance, it is business insurance, your premiums go up. With that, the landlord has to charge the entire building an increase in rent due to one unit. Now, is that fair? Instead, one unit takes the responsibility for their privilege of a pet on someone else's property.
  • JM
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