It can be difficult for pet owners to find rental properties that will allow their pets. Many are happy to pay extra to live in a nice place with their dogs or cats. Landlords can tap into a huge source of highly qualified applicants if they allow pets in their properties. However, they need to ask themselves, “How much should I charge for a pet deposit?”
Location Affects What to Charge for a Pet Deposit
Each state has laws that allow landlords to collect security deposits to hold against damages. Some of these laws are very strict in the maximum amount while other states have no set limits.
When it comes to setting pet deposits, once again the state law determines whether or not landlords can charge a pet deposit. Some places, like North Dakota, allow landlords to charge a pet deposit as well as a security deposit.
Other states, like California, only allow landlords to collect up to two month’s rent as a deposit and anything over that is illegal. No matter how many different deposits a landlord charges, the total cannot exceed that limit.
Some states, like Florida, have no limits on what landlords can charge in deposits. This gives landlords a lot of flexibility when it comes to setting pet deposits.
In order to establish how much to charge for a pet deposit, landlords must find out the laws in their state.
Different Options on What to Charge for a Pet Deposit
For those landlords that don’t restrict on pet deposits, it can be difficult to figure out how to best set a policy for their rental.
Some landlords choose a one-time non-refundable deposit per pet up to two pets. Others might ask for different amounts for dogs vs. cats. Still other landlords set up a refundable pet deposit that is separate from the security deposit. There’s no wrong way to determine what to charge for a pet deposit.
In states that set limits, many landlords charge pet rent. This means they add an amount to the monthly rent for pets. For example, if the rent is $550 per month and the applicant wants to bring in their dog, the landlord would charge an extra amount for that, such as $50. The total rent would be $600 per month.
RentPrep’s Take On What to Charge for a Pet Deposit
The landlords we associate with have plenty to share about how to know what to charge for a pet deposit.
It goes without saying that landlords absolutely must learn everything they can about security deposit limits in their state. Pet deposits are legal in some states and illegal in others.
Landlords also need to determine what method works best for them in making sure there is adequate coverage for the damage that pets can do to a rental property. Whether as a deposit or as extra rent, any pet details must be clear and included in the lease agreement wording.
What Are Other Landlords Saying About What to Charge for a Pet Deposit?
Every landlord needs to do what is best for their rental property and their budget. Pets are an important part of their owner’s lives so qualified applicants will certainly pass on rentals that restrict them.
Here’s a screenshot of landlords discussing this question in our private Facebook group for Landlords.
You can see even more comments on that post by checking it out in the group.