Pet charges in an apartment

justdaniel28May 19, 2004

I was cat sitting for my girlfriend when a maintenance man happen to stop by to fix something. The next day I got a note on my day saying I owe the property $300 for a pet deposit. The cat has since been returned, but can they really charge me the $300? I looked in my lease and it does state that they do enforce a pet charge even for temporary pets, but since the cat was only there for two days, is there a way for me to fight the charge? Wouldn't the maintenance man at least have to prove that cat was there which there is no way of doing? Thanks in advance.

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MaryL472

Have you talked to a leasing agent or your property manager about it yet? Maybe if you just explain and promise you won't do it again they'll let you off the hook.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2004 at 4:36PM
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justdaniel28

Not yet. I kinda wanted to know where I stood before talking to them. Thank you.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2004 at 5:12PM
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talley_sue_nyc

no, he wouldn't have to prove it. He's an agent of the landlord; anything he sees, the landlord sees. It's not a criminal charge; the "innocent until PROVEN guilty" does not apply.

But it is a DEPOSIT, so can you prove the cat is gone, and ask to "get it back"?

    Bookmark   May 19, 2004 at 5:13PM
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justdaniel28

Talley Sue,

Thanks for the reply. At this point I haven't paid the charge yet since they left a note on my door saying I owed them the $300. If I didn't pay it, could they try to collect that money with whatever means possible, i.e., collections agency? Thanks

    Bookmark   May 19, 2004 at 5:32PM
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lazy_gardens

"I looked in my lease and it does state that they do enforce a pet charge even for temporary pets,"
OK ... they have the right to charge you, it's even in the lease. Let the landlord know it was a short-term "cat-sitting" favor for a friend and pay whatever you owe them for the temporary pet. They are probably hitting you with the full pet deposit because the maintenance man had no way of knowing how long the cat had been there.

"If I didn't pay it, could they try to collect that money with whatever means possible, i.e., collections agency? "

Yup, they sure could. And they can ruin your credit rating in the process.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2004 at 8:11PM
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justdaniel28

Thank you. One more question. I tend to try to analyze/over analyze everything angle. Can an apartment complex charge someone a pet deposit fee for a guest? Let me elaborate. Let's say I'm having a party. And one of my guests has a dog who he/she brings with them to my party. The party lasts a couple of hours and everyone goes home. Can I be charged for a pet deposit for that? And if not, does that mean that yes, an animal can be at the apartment for an undisclosed period of time before it's considered a pet even on a temporary basis? I promise that was my last question. :-) Thank you.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2004 at 4:00PM
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goodtastenomoney

Justdaniel, I think you are going to get the best result by just saying " Sorry, I didn't know, can you pls help me out here?"

    Bookmark   May 21, 2004 at 6:44PM
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