Landlords should add annual pet fees to their lease


Landlords should add annual pet fees to their lease


Attorney Tom Olsen: Rob, from my experiences, having a rental property, so as a landlord, if I put out there "No pets", boy I think I've cut out, like, 80% of the possibilities of people that want to rent my house from me. I mean, everybody's got a pet. To me, it's just not very practical to be a landlord and tell the tenant, "No pets", it's been my experience. How about yours?

Attorney Rob Solomon: What I would tell you about that is, if that's the conclusion you've come to, then your leases need to have pet fees. Not pet deposits, pet fees. Pet deposits are very confusing and people put down $200 and maybe get them back and there's always a debate as to whether or not the animal has caused damage or not. In the leases that I write, we have pet fees, and understand, therapy animals and service animals are not pets, so this deals with pets.

Pet fees are a agreed upon number, $300, $400, for the right of that animal to live there. It's an amount that you as a landlord take right off the top. It's just like any other rental payment. You take it, it's not put it into deposit, it never goes back to the tenant, it's the cost of the rental for the animal.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Just out of curiosity, I'm sure that's for a one-year lease, but in that situation, if they wanted to renew that lease for another year, would the landlord typically collect another $300?

Attorney Rob Solomon: Yes. Because it's- really think of it as the rental for the right of the animal to live there.