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Forum / Landlord and Real Estate News / Massachusetts Ruling: No Pet or Move-In Fees
In the recent Hermida v. Archstone Properties case, the judge ruled that Massachusetts landlords and property managers can't charge pet fees, move-in fees, amenity fees, etc. Thoughts on this ruling? Is it affecting your property management business? More information about the case and ruling can be found here: http://pacer.mad.uscourts.gov/dc/cgi-bin/recentops.pl?filename=young/pdf/hermida%20memo.pdf.
Ralph F, CA on Friday, March 2, 2012
RE: Massachusetts Ruling: No Pet or Move-In Fees
I can see why they want to curtail bogus "amenity" fees, but pet fees are totally legitimate, as pets invariably cause damage. I think prohibiting pet fees is simply going to push more property managers and landlords to not accept pets at all, which isn't going to help anyone. Like usual, well-intentioned regulations merely serve to bite everyone involved.
Posted by Renee R, MD on Friday, March 9, 2012
RE: Massachusetts Ruling: No Pet or Move-In Fees
I have an owner-occupied, multi-unit house. I allow pets because I like them, I have one, and I know how hard it is to find decent housing that allows it. But, I do charge more if the person has a pet because even the best behaved pets cause more wear and tear to the apartment. Why should the landlord be penalized for being nice and allowing pets? Rules like this are just going to make landlords decide that pets aren't worth the trouble or cost.
Posted by Samantha P, MA on Tuesday, March 27, 2012
RE: Massachusetts Ruling: No Pet or Move-In Fees
@ Brian. Bad link.
Posted by Bob R, CA on Tuesday, March 27, 2012
RE: Massachusetts Ruling: No Pet or Move-In Fees
The link worked for me. Make sure you don't include the period at the end of the sentence if you copy and paste.
Posted by Samantha P, MA on Tuesday, March 27, 2012
RE: Massachusetts Ruling: No Pet or Move-In Fees
@ Brian. Bad link.
Posted by Bob R, CA on Tuesday, March 27, 2012
RE: Massachusetts Ruling: No Pet or Move-In Fees
That works. Thanks
Posted by Bob R, CA on Tuesday, March 27, 2012
RE: Massachusetts Ruling: No Pet or Move-In Fees
My attorney told me a year ago Pet Deposits are illegal in MA, but he also said that I can charge higher rent to compensate with no problem. Anyone wanting to use this should check into it on their own, since it's only one lawyer saying it, but it may be a legal solutionfor those who want to rent to pet owners. I've been burned by so many irresponsible pet owners that I don't allow pets at all anymore. I have a few cats that are "grandfathered" in, but the day I walked into an abandoned 2nd floor unit and found eight 15 gallon totes of dog feces stored on the balcony did me in. And I work in the pet industry!
Posted by Thomas T, MA on Tuesday, March 27, 2012
RE: Massachusetts Ruling: No Pet or Move-In Fees
I'm not sure that's what the ruling was. (1) if you're referring to the application fee, the LL collected AFTER tenants were accepted. This is a clear violation. Why didn't LL collect prior to reviewing application? This makes more sense. (2) Amenity Fee - the tenant was not advised that the fee was optional. (3) as for the purchase and installation cost for a key and lock - why were they charged for this? Was this the cost for changing items after they move out? Or, was this something tenant requested after they moved in? If tenant requested, LL should have them install it at their cost. I saw nothing about pet fees.
Posted by Bob R, CA on Tuesday, March 27, 2012
RE: Massachusetts Ruling: No Pet or Move-In Fees
From what I read, that particular decision did not specifically reference pet fees, however the lawyers are using the judge's decision to file a class action suit, which would cover all fees, including pet fees. They are saying that since pet fees are not included in the list of allowable fees that landlords may charge, that any landlord charging pet fees is in violation.
Posted by Samantha P, MA on Tuesday, March 27, 2012
RE: Massachusetts Ruling: No Pet or Move-In Fees
Wheeeew. I thought I need new glasses…LOL. A possible work around is with a pet addendum. To include (1) renters insurance to cover pets. Make sure insuance company includes LL and sends LL a copy. (2) Require tenant pay for having the property professionally check for urine on carpets, etc. And (3) have the place fumigated at tenants expense. I would charge the max amount of sec.dpst allowed.
Posted by Bob R, CA on Tuesday, March 27, 2012
RE: Massachusetts Ruling: No Pet or Move-In Fees
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Posted by digital1234 d, AZ on Thursday, May 24, 2012
RE: Massachusetts Ruling: No Pet or Move-In Fees
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Posted by jahfwkwi j, on Wednesday, April 3, 2019
RE: Massachusetts Ruling: No Pet or Move-In Fees
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Posted by jahfwkwi j, on Wednesday, April 3, 2019
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