The Cost of Allowing Pets in Rentals

February 6, 2023

Allowing pets in rentals can be a tricky issue for landlords. On one hand, many renters have pets and may be more likely to rent a property that allows them. On the other hand, allowing pets in a rental can come with additional costs and potential damage to the property. In this article, we will explore the reasons why landlords may be hesitant to allow pets in their rentals, and the costs associated with doing so.

4 Reasons why landlords hesitate to allow pets in their rental properties

  1. Potential for damage

One of the main reasons landlords may be hesitant to allow pets in their rentals is the potential for damage. Pets, especially dogs and cats, can scratch or chew on walls, flooring, and furniture, resulting in costly repairs. Landlords may also be concerned about accidents such as urine or feces stains on carpets or flooring. To mitigate these risks, landlords may require a pet deposit or additional pet rent, which can be a significant cost for renters. This can be a deterrent for renters who have pets, as they may be unwilling or unable to pay the additional costs.

  1. Wear and tear damage

Another cost associated with allowing pets in rentals is increased wear and tear on the property. Pets can cause additional wear on carpets, flooring, and landscaping, which can result in more frequent repairs or replacements. This can be a significant financial burden for landlords, especially if they have multiple rental properties. Landlords may also be concerned about the potential for damage to shared spaces, such as elevators, hallways, and common areas, which can be expensive to repair or replace.

  1. Additional cleaning cost

Allowing pets in rentals may also lead to additional cleaning costs. Pets can shed hair, and landlords may need to hire professional cleaners to remove pet odors and stains before new tenants move in. This can be an additional cost for landlords, and can also be time-consuming. Additionally, if pets are not properly trained and groomed, it can lead to unpleasant odors and stains in the rental property.

  1. Noise complaints

Another reason landlords may be hesitant to allow pets in their rentals is the potential for noise complaints. Pets, especially dogs, can make noise and disturb other tenants. If a pet is not well-trained or is left alone for long periods of time, it can become restless and start barking or whining, which can be disruptive for other tenants. Landlords may be concerned about the potential for noise complaints and may choose not to allow pets in their rentals to avoid this issue.

Despite these challenges, many landlords are willing to allow pets in their rentals as they know that renters with pets are more likely to stay longer in a rental property. Many landlords also recognize that pets are important members of the family, and they want to be able to accommodate renters with pets. Some landlords may also choose to do a pet interview to find out more about the pet and the pet owner to ensure that the pet and the landlord can coexist. 

Some landlords may also choose to limit the number of pets allowed or to only allow certain types of pets, such as small dogs or cats.

How much can a landlord charge for pets?

When it comes to allowing pets in rentals, landlords may have to consider the additional costs that come with it. One of the biggest concerns for landlords is the cost of pet deposits and fees. These can vary, but typically range from $200 to $500, and in some cases, landlords may also charge a monthly rate of $25 to $100 for pet rent. However, it’s important to note that some states or municipalities have laws that limit the amount a landlord can charge for pet-related fees.

For example, in Seattle, landlords can only charge up to 25% of one month’s rent for a pet deposit, in addition to the security deposit and other fees. This means that for a $2,000 apartment in Seattle, the maximum amount a landlord can charge for a pet deposit would be $500.

When determining pet deposit or pet rent fees, it’s essential for landlords to ensure that their rental prices remain competitive with other rentals in the market. Additionally, it’s a good idea to include any pet fee information in the property listing details so that prospective tenants can make an informed decision when narrowing down their rental options.

Are pet deposits refundable?

As a tenant, it’s important to understand the laws and regulations surrounding pet deposits in your state and the local area. In many cases, pet deposits are treated similarly to security deposits. This means that if there is damage caused by your pet during your tenancy, the landlord may deduct the cost of repairs from your pet deposit.

To ensure that you receive a fair refund of your pet deposit, it’s important to document any damages with photos or videos. When you move out, create an itemized list of the time and expenses spent on repairing the damage, and compare that to the amount of the deposit. By being thorough and organized, you can ensure that you are reimbursed fairly for any damages caused by your pet.

Final words

In conclusion, allowing pets in rentals can come with additional costs and potential damage to the property. However, many landlords are willing to make exceptions for renters with pets, and some may choose to implement policies such as pet deposits or pet rent to mitigate these costs.

It’s important for landlords and renters to work together to find a solution that is mutually beneficial. Renters with pets should be prepared to pay additional costs and should be willing to take responsibility for any damage caused by their pets. Landlords should be willing to accommodate renters with pets and should be willing to work with renters to find a solution that is mutually beneficial.

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