Pet deposit

sleepless_stApril 15, 2006

My lease states that there is a nonrefundable pet fee of $200 per cat. It goes on to state that the resident "shall pay the nonrefundable pet fee and any additional security deposits."

However, nowhere in the document does it give a monetary amount for that "additional security deposit" or for monthly pet rent.

I went to the leasing office prepared to pay $200 but was told I have to pay $400, of which $200 is nonrefundable. I must also pay $10 a month for cat rent.

I feel that I should only pay the $200 nonrefundable pet fee because that is the amount the lease stated. Thoughts?

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I would check if these extra, non-refundable charges are even legal in your state/city. Is there a tenant-help organization in your area you could call to find out? Although if you refuse to pay, the landlord can just refuse to rent to you :(

    Bookmark   April 16, 2006 at 9:00AM
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That actually sounds reasonable. I have lived in many apartments in the past and typically you pay a normal security deposit which averaged $100 - $150 in my area when I was renting. On top of that you pay a pet deposit which I have seen to be $300 -$400 of which about 1/2 is non-refundable. I have also seen the "pet rent" addition. I'm going to assume you haven't moved in yet. They only problem I see with your situation is that they apparently didn't list out all the charges you were responsible for but usually these are all disclosed in any advertisements or listings so they may have felt you were already aware. Everytime I rented though they would give me the floor plans with rent and deposits written in. Bottom line is your going to have to pay it no matter where you rent. I would talk to the apartment manager and see if he or she is willing to work out a payment arrangement for the pet deposit. If they want to rent to the apartment to you bad enough chances are they have the leighway to work with you.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2006 at 12:32PM
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Hi, krustytopp,
Yes, I checked Washington state renters' rights and nonrefundable fees are allowed.
ttugrad95, my problem is I've already signed the lease (actually a renewal - I moved in last April) so I feel like I have no leverage on the pet situation.
Thanks for all your input. If I'm lucky they'll at least waive the monthly pet rent.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2006 at 1:03AM
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if they've changed the terms of the lease, you may have leverage. even if it's only to say you want out.

Best of luck!

    Bookmark   April 18, 2006 at 4:51PM
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"I feel that I should only pay the $200 nonrefundable pet fee because that is the amount the lease stated. "

Well, actually it says the $200 fee plus any additional security deposits - which would be that other $200. I think the only argument that you could make would be that the lease doesn't say anything about an additional monthly fee.

Truthfully, those fees are completely in line with what i've paid over the years for my two cats - and i've often had to pay double that since i have 2. I'd be happy the landlord was letting you have both animals and pay up. Many landlords are moving towards banning pets altogether.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2006 at 5:47PM
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I was unable to get my $10/month pet rent waived. But between Saturday and Wednesday the $400 fee+deposit went down to $300 (half refundable, half nonrefundable). So that is some consolation.
Does the idea of pet rent strike anyone as odd? What I'm renting is a space. If I brought in a roommate or adopted a child I wouldn't be required to pay extra. What resources does a cat or dog use that a person would not?

    Bookmark   April 20, 2006 at 10:04AM
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I'm with you on the pet rent, sleepless. They'll say it's because pets may do more damage to the apartment than humans, but I say that's crap. That's why we paid a deposit, so that any damage done, by us, our guests, or our pets, would be covered. We pay it because we have to, and we were lucky that they didn't double our pet rent (which is $30/month) when we got a second cat, but they did charge us another non-refundable fee. It's extortion in my opinion....if you don't inform them that you have a pet and pay the fees, they can evict you, and if you inform them then you have to pay extra that they say is to cover extra damages that would already be covered by your deposit. Total crap!!!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2006 at 10:18AM
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I had to pay 250.00 fee non-refundable. Plus 30.00 a month for a dog in our old apartment. It was though in our lease which should be in yours as well.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2006 at 7:57PM
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We will be moving to an apt. soon due to a job transfer. We'll be there for several months while our house is built. We have to pay a non-refundable pet deposit of $600 (we have four cats) in addition to our regular deposit. We don't have to pay any pet rent each month, though.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2006 at 5:55PM
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WOW! Pet rent? I have never heard of that around here or a pet deposit either. Me thinks that's crazy to have to pay! Especially since my cats are cleaner then my husband is sometimes! Hahahahaha!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2006 at 12:44PM
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We charge a pet deposit and extra monthly fee for pets. Some, certainly not all, pets cause an amazing amount of damage. The regular deposit isn't enough to cover replacing vinyl and carpet, replacing subfloor, repairing sheetrock, repairing kitchen and bathroom cabinets, etc that can be damaged. It is easier to collect a larger deposit up front to cover the potential additional damage. If the landlord doesn't get it upfront, then they are pretty much left taking the former tenant to small claims court where they might get a judgement but may never receive payment. Cat urine and dog urine can be pretty strong and require some major repairs to completely elminiate the smell.

As far as a monthly pet rent, dogs and outdoor cats can be pretty hard on landscaping. The front porch becomes the "fire hydrant" and can get pretty raunchy smelling if several dogs mark it multiple times a day - not exactly a welcoming smell to come home to. If you are in an apartment complex with several animal owners and one doesn't clean up after their animal (dogs and cats), then how does the landlord figure out who to charge for the extra clean up?

I've seen instances where indoor cats have been left alone for days on end. Oh someone may come in to feed them and give them water, but not scoop the litter box. Did you know that many cats won't use a dirty litter box? When that happens, the carpet turns into a litter box.

Once again, the good pet owners end up paying more because the inconsiderate pet owners don't clean up after and take care of their pets.

By the way, I am a dog owner and have been a cat owner as well. You can't say that I am anti-pet. I've had to deal with the damage that can result from a pet that isn't properly taken care of or is bored.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2006 at 7:07PM
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I had to pay a $250 non-refundable and a $250 refundable deposit for my Golden Retreiver. No additional pet rent, though, so that was good.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2006 at 8:49AM
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Pet rent is not uncommon. My lease also states that if you get a roomate they have to fill out a application and pay an additional $25 per person per month.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2006 at 9:59PM
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never mind i just typed a message and its gone

    Bookmark   March 16, 2008 at 3:58AM
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