If you have a pet, a landlord may ask you to pay a “pet deposit” to protect the landlord in case your pet causes damage to the unit. While such a deposit is clearly illegal if the landlord also collects a deposit equal to the first month`s rent, a landlord can`t let you move in unless you agree to pay the extra deposit. In addition, you need to carefully determine the cost of your pet fees. Since these do not depend on documented damage, they must be within reasonable limits to cover additional wear. Pet fees are usually in the same range as a pet deposit and can range from $100 to $300. If the fees are too high and a tenant decides to challenge them, a judge is free to enforce the fees. No – Landlords are not required to accept a tenant if they have pets, unless that pet is a service animal or an emotional support animal. Your rental agreement may specify this as well as the types of pets allowed. The Rental Housing Journal writes: “According to the Department of Justice, a `service animal` can be a miniature dog or horse trained to perform one or more specific tasks. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, people living with disabilities have the legal right to take these animals to public places as well as to their place of residence, regardless of any restrictions on pets on the premises. “Because pets can potentially damage an apartment, it`s common for landlords to charge tenants extra pet fees and/or deposits. But are landlords able to keep all those pet-related expenses once you move? For example, a large dog has the ability to do much more damage than a small cat, you may want to charge these two fees differently.
In addition, the deposit required for a high-quality property may be greater, as damage repairs are more expensive than a cheaper apartment. If non-refundable pet fees are not allowed in your state, make sure that your rental and deposit amounts accurately reflect the additional costs you may incur due to pet authorization. Pet deposits range from $100 to $300, but are usually proportional to the total rent in your area. Since most tenants have (or want) pets, it may be in your best interest as a landlord to welcome them to your property. While you don`t have to allow all pets, you need to be prepared for the worst. This includes charging reasonable pet fees, rent, and deposits that cover your risk and comply with state laws. Ask a lawyer if you have any further questions about this or other rental property issues. While pet deposits and pet fees are a one-time fee, pet rental is a recurring monthly fee. Just like pet fees, pet rental is meant to cover additional wear and tear on the device.
More than half of U.S. households — including renters — have pets. Not all owners allow pets, but those who do are advised to take special precautions to protect their property and minimize possible litigation. Below we explain what types of pet deposits, special rental payments, and pet fees are legally charged as a pet owner. When landlords rent apartments to new tenants, they sometimes try to get more money than rent. You can try charging additional fees such as “deposits”, “rental fees”, “pet fees” or “registration fees”. These additional fees are illegal.34 The problem is that if you refuse to pay these fees, a landlord may refuse you to move in. Also consider creating an income analysis report to get more assurance that your tenant is doing what they say. By analyzing the applicant`s self-reported income using credit report data, including the amount they pay for balances, the balances they carry, the amount of money spent, and other factors, TransUnion can help homeowners decide whether to ask for proof of additional income.
If you`re a pet owner, an income and credit check can also help you understand if your tenant can afford a pet rental or fees you can charge. 34. Under Paragraph 15B(1)(b) of the Law, the law clearly provides that a landlord may charge only the first month`s rent, the rent for the last month, a deposit and the cost of a new lock. Perry v. Equity Residential Management, LLC, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, Civil Action No. 12-10779-RWZ (August 26, 2014) (G.L. 186, §15B(1)(b) does not allow landlords to charge potential tenants an application fee, amenity fee, community fee, or initial pet fee.) Broad Street Associates v.
Levine, Northeast Housing Court, 12-SP-2041 (Kerman, J., July 30, 2012) (The landlord`s actions to charge a recurring application fee and “pet fee” of $50 per month both constituted violations of G.L. 186, § 15B(1)(b)); Vazquez v. Fletcher, Worcester Housing Court, 09-CV-1032 (Fields, J., July 2009) (Deposit fees are illegal). While some states allow non-refundable pet fees as a condition of a pet in your rental, be sure to distinguish these fees from the deposit. Just like any other rental deposit (and in accordance with state laws that govern how these funds are to be held), a pet deposit must be reimbursed minus any pet-related repair or cleaning costs. Yes, pet fees are legal in Massachusetts in certain circumstances. A landlord can only charge the rent for the first and last month, a deposit and the cost of replacing locks between tenants. However, the recent case of Flemming v. Greystar Management has changed the details of how owners can charge pets. While landlords may not accept an additional pet deposit, they may charge inflated monthly rent to account for the increased responsibility of allowing a pet on the premises. Disclaimer: The Website cannot and will not contain legal advice. Legal information is provided for general information and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice.
Therefore, we recommend that you contact the appropriate professionals before taking any action based on this information. We do not provide legal advice, AND YOUR USE OF OR RELIANCE ON THE INFORMATION CONTAINED ON THIS WEBSITE IS ENTIRELY AT YOUR OWN RISK. If you have any legal questions, contact a lawyer or email me at Sage@CambridgeSage.com and I will refer you to a trusted lawyer. Again, pet rentals may vary depending on the animal species, size and number of pets in the apartment. Prices are generally comparable to pet fees, which are simply calculated monthly and not just once. For example, an owner may charge between $10 and $25 per month for a single pet. Over the course of a year, that`s between $120 and $300. In addition to charging potential tenants for pet fees or deposits, a landlord may require tenants to pay for pet rentals. For example, if a tenant has to pay $1,000 a month for rent and the landlord rents $250 a month, a tenant with a pet would have to pay $1,250 each month. Landlords who allow tenants with pets often require their tenants to make an upfront payment to cover any damage caused by the pet, which is called a “pet deposit.” .