30 Apr Pet Rent
Pet rent is becoming increasingly more common as more landlords allow them. With the popularity of pets in the home, more landlords allowing pets use pet rent and pet deposits to protect themselves from any damages caused by pets. That’s because some pets can cause extra wear and tear on the rental and require additional maintenance. With pet rent, typically you add a monthly amount to the regular rent. Whereas a pet deposit is a one-time charge held for future use.
That said, for tenants with disabilities, they have rights under The Fair Housing Act that prohibits landlords from charging a pet deposit or pet rent. Similarly, for any landlord who does not allow pets, you may have to if a service animal is involved. That’s because even if a lease agreement says no pets, landlords are required by law to make what is called a reasonable accommodation. But, that is another subject, altogether. The question is, do you charge pet rent, or a pet deposit, or both?
Please Note: this information is not a substitute for qualified legal advice.
Simply put, a landlord charges a pet deposit to account for any potential pet related damages or losses. In California, landlords may not charge more than two months rent (unfurnished rental) or three months rent (furnished rental) for a security deposit. That means if you do charge a pet deposit, your security deposit plus your pet deposit cannot exceed the set limit.
No matter what term you use, cleaning fee, key deposit, last month’s rent, or pet deposit, it’s all the same thing in California. That’s because there is a limit to the amount a landlord can charge for a tenant to move in. You might then wonder, when charging this amount should you make it non-refundable or refundable? For any landlord with rental property in California, non-refundable deposits are prohibited.
Because so many people have pets, your pool of prospective tenants becomes much larger if you allow pets. In fact, pet-friendly rentals attract so many prospective tenants that you can actually find better-quality tenants. Today, renting with pets is more popular than ever. According to The Humane Society, over 72% of renters have pets. When landlords allow pets, the number of qualified rental applicants dramatically increases. As a result, it gives a landlord more options for finding great tenants. And, great tenants stay longer, which keeps turnover costs down.
With so many potential tenants looking for pet-friendly rentals, remaining competitive in your market might mean reconsidering your stance on allowing pets. Whether or not you allow pets on your rental properties, it’s vital that you know a tenant’s history. That’s because a renter’s past conduct can be highly indicative of their future actions. For this reason, you may want to consider hiring a property management company to help you make the right decisions for your rental property.