Will I Have to Pay a Pet Deposit?

Will I have to pay a pet deposit for my stuffed bear?Actually, it will largely depend on the landlord as there are some that do not allow and some that do allow tenants to have pets. Still, some may have restrictions as to the number and type of pets they allow. These additional obligations and rights about having pets should be indicated in writing in the lease contract.

It is a fact that a tenant who allows a pet inside the premises of a building can be held responsible for any disturbance or damage the animal causes. This is true even if that tenant is not the owner of the pet.

If a landlord allows his tenant to keep pets, he might be able to make the tenant pay a pet deposit equivalent to fifty percent of the agreed rent. The pet security deposit can be charged in addition to a rental security deposit. Now, if the rent of the tenant is subsidized, the pet deposit can be based on the rate of market rent instead of the actual rate of rent the tenant pays. Also, the landlord can only charge the pet deposit once; even if the tenant owns more than one pet. At the end of the lease contract, the pet deposit and rental security deposit should be refunded to the tenant unless part or all of it is claimed by the landlord to cover arrears in rent or damages. However, if the pet is a service animal, example a dog that helps a disabled tenant, the landlord is not allowed to charge a pet deposit.

A landlord can ask a rental officer to order payment of the pet deposit or terminate tenancy if the pet deposit charged by the landlord is not paid by the tenant.

If and when a landlord allows pet and decides to charge a pet deposit, he should have an inspection of the actual condition of the premises to be rented. An inspection must be done before allowing a pet if an entry inspection was not done during the moving in of the tenant. It is important that the tenant participate during the inspection and must be given a copy of the inspection report. Upon moving out of the tenant, another inspection with a written report should be done and the report must be kept by the landlord for three years.

At the end of the tenancy, the landlord is mandated to provide a written notice and an itemized record of deductions within 10 days to the tenant if he wants to claim any part of the pet deposit or the rental security deposit to cover repair costs. Also, included in the statement or record is the amount to be kept and what it would be used for.

However, if an inspection was not done or a copy of the inspection report was not given to the tenant before moving in, the landlord may not be able to charge or claim any part of the pet deposit or rental security deposit for repairs or damages. But, he/she might claim against the pet deposit or rental security deposit for arrears in rental.