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Why renting a pet is so hotly contested

A dog.

A dog. Illustrated | Getty Images

Pet owners can often expect to pay a one-time security deposit or non-refundable pet fee when starting a new lease. However, owners around the world charge additional monthly fees for furry housemates, which catches some pet owners off guard. Pet rentals are slowly becoming the norm, and the added cost puts some pet owners in an inconvenient position. Can owners put a price on the company?

Here’s everything you need to know about pet rentals:

What is a rent pent?

It is not uncommon for pet owners to face additional costs when renting an apartment. Pet-friendly apartments usually charge a one-time deposit or upfront fee when you sign the lease. Prices range from $50 to hundreds of dollars and may be non-refundable. Many landlords have added pet rent, monthly fees ranging from $10 to $50 in addition to regular rent.

The owners say the fee is intended to offset the cost of any damage the animals may cause to the property. Nicole Ryan, spokesperson for the National Apartment AssociationTold MarketWatch that if local laws permit, landlords could set up monthly recurring pet rent to cover the costs of “increased wear and tear” caused by pets. This would include any cleaning, maintenance or landscaping costs incurred after tenants with pets have left the property.

Earlier this year, a UK survey found that 85% of owners and agents reported damage to their property by pets. However, some studies indicate that some landlords charge pet deposits and rent that exceed the cost of pet damage. The 2021 “Inclusive Pet Housing Initiative Report” from Michelson Found Animals and the Human Animal Bond Research Institute found that renters pay $864 in deposits and $600 a year in additional rent costs. Still, “the average dollar amount of additional damage caused by pets is $210, and many residents choose to pay for that damage out of their own pockets.”

Is renting a pet legal?

Laws and regulations regarding security deposits, rentals, and pets vary, so landlords and renters should familiarize themselves with local, state, and federal laws. Security deposits are generally legal, but some states limit the amount a homeowner can collect. For example, states that have rent control laws prohibit landlords from charging more than a specified amount for a deposit.

As long as the total rental price does not exceed the local legal maximum, landlords are permitted to add an additional monthly pet fee. In a blog for, attorney Ann Cotton wrote: “Higher rent for tenants with pets is legal – rent is rent no matter how the landlord divides it.” The only animal owners exempt from additional fees are those who have trained service or assistance animals, for Lady Magazine. It is illegal everywhere to charge additional fees to tenants with disabilities who require their service animal. In some cases, emotional support animals may also qualify for the exemption.

Why are pet owners against paying rent for their pet?

Besides the fact that pets don’t work to pay the bills? Some pet owners feel that the additional price of renting a pet, no matter how small, adds to the financial burden of being a renter, especially in a persistent context. inflation over the past year. The last consumer price index reportt found that even though inflation rates had declined over the previous month, rental costs were the main contributor to November inflation. Rent prices rose 0.8% from October, a slight increase from the last report.

The price of caring for furry housemates is also on the rise. A LendingTree The survey found that 75% of pet owners said inflation had caused them to spend more on their pets’ care, and 26% said they struggled to meet the extra costs. . animal shelters There are reports that owners have seen an increase in abandonment of their pets due to rising housing costs, including animal rentalby MarketWatch. Experts say the rising cost of renting with pets is one of the main reasons Pets are turned into shelters.

Strict restrictions on allowed pets and the added financial burden of pet rent can make it difficult for owners of homeless pets to find housing. Ruby Aliment, Sara Rankin and Kaya Lurie of the Homeless Rights Advocacy Project write that the added costs are one of the reasons for “attempts to rehouse homeless pet owners”. consistently failWhile some pet owners try to hide their pets to avoid fees, they put themselves at risk of eviction.

The authors of a recent research paper, “Pet Friendly For whom?found that renters from marginalized communities bear the brunt of high rental fees for pets. They concluded, “Lower-income communities and communities of color were more likely than higher-income, predominantly white communities pay disproportionately higher fees to keep pets in their homes. “In some cases, landlords could use pets as leverage to retaliate against low-income tenants. Attorney Dianne Prado said Lady Magazine“A tenant complains of a leak or infestation, and the next thing they know an animal control officer is knocking on the door. The landlord called to report them as abusers.”

The authors of the research paper conclude that “pet fees are another discriminatory practice that inevitably leads to lower housing security and a potential increase in evictions among already disadvantaged and marginalized populations.”

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