If your landlord is asking you to pay pet rent even though a pet deposit was made, here are some reasons why this might be.
Is Pet Rent Legal?
Yes it is. As long as there is no discriminatory reason why you are being charged pet rent, the landlord or property management company can enforce it.
What is the Difference Between Pet Rent and a Deposit?
A pet deposit is money you put up front to have your pet move in. Just like your deposit, you are putting money down to ensure coverage in the case where any damage might occur. This is a one time fee. Often times, if damages occur, you will also have more out of pocket expenses.
Pet rent is charged on a monthly basis and is separate from the pet deposit. This monthly charge covers your pet actually being in your rental. Rentals are not required by law to allow pets to be on the premise, unless they are a service pet or involved with your functioning (such as a seeing-eye dog). Pets are considered a privilege.
You may also be required to pay a separate non-refundable pet fee when you move in.
How Does the Landlord Justify Pet Rent?
You can expect some type of wear and tear in a rental due to daily living. A human causes different wear than an animal. In this case, both can be charged separately.
From a renter’s point of view, the pet is taking up the space they are already paying for. From a property management’s point of view, they have a property to maintain and, when animals are on location, they can cause more wear than humans alone. These situations include an animal’s paws and nails on the hallway areas (that can ruin finishes), landscaping that gets ruined, animal feces and more. These are all items that require resources to be taken care of either by a janitor, outside vendor or other members of the complex.
Some pet friendly apartments are specifically created and suited for pet accommodations. They may have lush landscaping, a small pet park or more ground. These will typically cause higher pet rents.
A factor that can play a significant part in pet rent prices is the weight of the pet. Typically, the larger the animal, the larger your pet rent will be.
Are there Pet Friendly Apartments that do not Charge Pet Rent?
There are many apartments that do not charge pet rent. You can usually find this information on their website, or by simply contacting the complex. Although pet rent is not a standard, pet deposits are (both refundable and non-refundable). Take the time to ask questions before you sign your lease if you’ll have a pet residing with you.