You may seek to collect extra fees from renters who own dogs as a landlord. These often asked questions might assist you in determining what is lawful.

What you will discover:

What kinds of pet deposits, rent, and other fees may I charge tenants?
What should I charge for pet rental?
Is it necessary for me to reimburse pet deposits?
Is it necessary to utilize a pet deposit exclusively for pet-related damage?
Is it possible to get a pet deposit for a service animal?
How can I safeguard my investment?

More over half of all families in the United States, including renters, have pets. Not all landlords accept dogs, but those that do should take extra care to protect their property and minimize any potential issues. We will go through the forms of pet deposits, special rent payments, and pet fees you may legally collect as a landlord below.

What kinds of pet deposits, rent, and other fees may I charge tenants?

Non-refundable pet fees and extra deposits for pets are illegal in certain areas, although pet rent (particularly, an additional monthly sum) is normally permitted in all states.

Many states restrict the total amount you may charge for a rental deposit, so you can charge an extra pet deposit as long as it does not exceed this limit. Landlords in California, for example, may request a total deposit of up to two months rent for unfurnished rentals and up to three months rent for furnished rentals. Other states explicitly allow for an extra pet deposit, which is not included in the normal security deposit limitations.

If your state does not allow non-refundable pet fees, make sure your rent and security deposit appropriately reflect any extra expenses you may incur from admitting dogs. Pet deposits vary from $100 to $300, but are usually equal to the total rent in your area.

What should I charge for pet rental?

Depending on the kind of animal, pet rent may vary from $10 to $50 per month. The trick is to charge enough pet rent to pay for the extra wear and tear (short of real damage) that may occur as a consequence of owning a pet while being fair. If you are in a renter’s market, you will also want to compete with other landlords. Allowing dogs will increase demand for your rental property.

Is it necessary for me to reimburse pet deposits?

While some jurisdictions permit non-refundable pet fees as a condition of keeping a pet in your property, be sure these costs are distinct from the deposit. A pet deposit must be repaid, less any expenditures for pet-related repairs or cleaning, just like any other rental deposit (and in line with state rules controlling how these monies must be maintained).

However, it is essential to protect yourself and prevent conflicts by documenting how any cash were used when returning the deposit amount. Photographs documenting incidents of damage or soiling caused by the pet, an itemized summary of what was done to remedy the damage, and amounts spent to fix or clean the rental property may be included.

Is it necessary to utilize a pet deposit exclusively for pet-related damage?

It is determined by state or municipal legislation, as well as the terms in your Lease Agreement. You may be unable to utilize a pet deposit to cover damage that was not caused by the animal in certain situations. It often depends on whether the pet deposit is kept separately or whether it is included in the tenant’s overall security deposit. whether you want to include it as part of the total security deposit, you should check to see whether your state or local regulations allow it.

Is it possible to get a pet deposit for a service animal?

In general, no. Landlords cannot require renters with service animals to pay any more rent or deposit under federal law. This is due to the fact that service animals are not pets. A landlord may charge a fair fee for any damage caused by a service animal, just as they would for tenant damage. They may also seek to evict a renter who has an untrained service animal that is creating difficulties on the property.

While you may not inquire about a potential tenant’s medical condition, you may inquire about how a service animal is particularly trained to aid, as well as require documentation that the service animal has been approved by a medical practitioner. Individuals who have service animals may be expecting this request and may have the required documents on hand.

How can I safeguard my investment?

When renting to pet owners, there is a lot to consider. As part of the screening process, have potential renters with pets fill out a Pet Application Form. You should also document any pet-related restrictions and regulations, ideally with a Pet Addendum attached to the Rental Agreement.

Because most tenants have (or would want to have) dogs, it may be in your best interest as a landlord to accept them. While you are not required to admit all pets, you should be prepared for the worst. This includes collecting proper pet fees, rent, and deposits that cover your risk and conform with state law or the requirements of your insurance provider.

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