A Guide to Pet Deposits, Pet Fees, and Pet Rent

Landlords have the right to ban pets from their rental properties, except in cases of companion and service animals. As a landlord, you can further restrict the kinds of pets you allow by placing a pet policy in place. 

The policy may specify the types of pets allowed by size, quantity, and other details to avoid getting into trouble. If you allow pets on your property, then it’s crucial to arm yourself with the proper knowledge so that you don’t run into legal issues.

How Landlords Charge with Pet Deposits

Landlords can charge their tenants a security deposit equal to one month’s rent, a non-refundable fee equal to one week’s rent, or a combination of both.

You can charge a per-pet fee for each pet or bundle the cost for an unlimited number of pets into the pet deposit. The deposit must be refundable, but you can charge an amount greater than one month’s rent to cover potential damages caused by the pets.

How Landlords Charge with Pet Fees

Landlords are free to limit the types of pets allowed in their properties. You may want to restrict the kinds of pets you allow at your rental property to avoid any potential property damage or injury to your other tenants.

You can place a non-refundable fee on each pet owner at your property, which must be added to the pet deposit. 

How Landlords Charge with Pet Rent

Pet rent is a monthly fee charged to the tenants for the pets kept in the rental property. For example, a landlord may charge a $25 monthly pet rent for each pet in a rental property.

For a landlord, allowing pet rent instead of a non-refundable fee or pet deposit enable them to charge their tenants for the damages caused by the pets.

For example, if there’s a stain on the carpet or a scratch on the wooden furniture after the tenant moves out, the landlord can charge the tenant for the damages.

How Landlords Prepare Their Properties for Pets

As a landlord, it is your responsibility to ensure that your rental property is a safe and healthy living environment for both yourself and your tenants.

It is essential to keep your property clean and maintain it well. This will ensure that the pets you allow don’t damage your rental property and that your tenants are comfortable living in your property.

Ensure there are no gaps in the walls or windows so that the pets can’t escape. Remove potential hazards for the pets, such as electrical wires, toxic plants, and other houseplants. Keep the yard clean and free of waste.

Create a checklist for your pet-friendly property and read through it after completing the renovations. The checklist should include landscaping, flooring, air quality, and other essential factors of your renovated property.

Conclusion

Pets are an essential part of everyone’s life, and we should be able to keep them at our rental properties as much as possible. If you have decided to allow pets at your property, you should start preparing your property.

You must have a pet policy in place and know of your legal obligations as a landlord. A pet-friendly property can be a fantastic way to create a more cohesive community in your rental property.

At Quest Management Group, our full-service real estate company has helped clients throughout Northeast Florida since 1985. We specialize in all types of residential and commercial property management, including single-family investment homes, commercial office buildings, restaurant and retail centers, boutiques, and much more. 

Whether you are buying or selling a home or commercial property or want to relieve yourself of the burden of day-to-day operations, we can help. If you need property management services in Jacksonville, FL, call us today at (904) 373-9171 for a free quote!