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Setting Pet Fees

Landlords and property management companies may find it difficult to figure out how to set appropriate pet fees for renters bringing an animal to live with them.

Type of animalThe amount you want to charge may depend on the pet. It is common to charge less for cats than dogs, and to charge more for larger dogs. Pets like turtles, which do notgenerally affecttheproperty, are commonly ignored.
Rental managers and owners should ensure their policy clearly states what pets are allowed to avoid confusion. It should also be clear that adding pets after moving in could require additional payments.
Rent, fees or deposit?One way to cover the expense of a pet is to charge a higher rent. Spacing the cost out over time may be easier for tenants to afford, and can increase the profit for the manager in some cases.
The alternative is to charge an up-front fee frequently a pet security deposit. Some states have laws restricting the amount of the total security deposit, so check for that before setting an amount. This deposit would be refunded after the tenant moves out, assuming the property is not damaged by the pet. Non-refundable fees are also used, although these are typically smaller.
Some landlords may combine more than one of these options, charging a higher rent each month and requiring a pet security deposit to cover any damages.
Tags: landlord-tenant relationships, pet fees

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