Landlord Question and Answer Forum

How do you handle pet deposits? We are about to lock on our 3rd set of renters for our property. Given our location, our renters are active duty military and we are not income property landlords and have no desire to nickel and dime our military families who already incur great expenses with every move they make. We currently require 1 months rent as a deposit at lease signing and have required a separate pet deposit. First tenants had 2 dogs and one chewed some wood so we took it out their deposit and they were fine with it. One adult worked from home and the spouse worked close by....and we still had pet damage. Second renters had no pets and third renters, who we've yet to sign have two small dogs. Both adults work and will be away from the home all day during the week not working close by. I sense these dogs are very pampered and roam wherever their humans are having free reign of the house even in their absence. Because our first and only experience with pet owners led to damage I am know pondering charging a pet deposit if we sign these renters. Just not sure about the best way to go about it. Is it refundable? they have 2 dogs, so do I charge for each dog or a flat rate? Damage to the house is damage to the any damage pet inflicted or not could come out of their regular deposit I suppose, but is the better route to charge a separate pet deposit. I require the tenants to clean the carpets and provide a receipt and do a thorough cleaning either themselves or by a professional so if I charge a pet deposit...what would I use it for? I guess for me a deposit is a deposit, and I am looking for insight into how those that charge a pet deposit handle it, explain it and what criteria do you use to keep it at lease termination? Thanks!
Jennifer J, CA on Wednesday, April 24, 2019
RE: pet deposits
I've gone to just charging a $25 dollar a month pet fee. A pet deposit would usually will be a one time collection of something like $500 dollars that would be refunded at the end of the lease. The fee makes you $300 a year that you get to keep or an extra $1200 for 4 years. Then like you said if there is any damage you just take it out of the regular deposit. I'd pitch it like this tell them that you usually charge $25 dollars per pet but because they are military you'll just charge one fee for both pets.
Posted by Scott H, VA on Saturday, April 27, 2019
RE: pet deposits
Pet deposits cover damage or issues related to the pets, like the example that you mentioned. You are right about a deposit is a deposit. Pet urine, for example, despite carpet cleaning, is almost impossible to get rid of. Carpet looks clean but stinks. In that case you have a little extra to put towards replacement. Then there's the pest control issues, fleas and ticks. I always include that in the lease with a full disclosure of the dogs, size, names and assurance of veterinary vaccines. Additionally, dog owners must have liability insurance for their dog. Your insurance will not cover tenant pet issues, like a dog bite. The pet fee sounds like a good idea as long as they have a liability policy for their pets.
Posted by John K, FL on Thursday, May 2, 2019
Documents related to this forum

Rent Receipt

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