Did you know that you can charge monthly Pet Rent and collect a Pet Deposit when moving a tenant into your investment property? Keep reading to find out the pros and cons of both options.
Pet Fee or Pet Deposit
Many property owners charge either a pet deposit or monthly pet fee/rent. Which is the better option? I think the answer is both.
When you have pets on the premises, there’s just a higher percentage chance of there being damage to the property. That’s why we advise clients to consider charging both a pet deposit and pet fee.
The pet deposit is usually refundable and paid in addition to the security deposit at the time the lease is signed. This will be helpful should any significant damage be done to the property.
The pet fee, on the other hand, is paid every month with the monthly rent. We advise our landlord clients to determine the amount charged on a case by case basis. You may want to charge more or less depending on the type of pet, breed, and size.
So why do we recommend both? Because allowing a tenant to rent your property is risky. There’s simply more risk with a tenant that owns a pet than one without any.
A pet deposit paired with a traditional security deposit may be a nice chunk of change. And that should be enough to cover a few minor to moderate repairs. But it isn’t enough to cover a more sizeable expense like replacing the carpet.
Also, when it comes to the pet deposit, you have to be able to provide an itemized list of the damage caused to justify retaining the deposit. The tenant can dispute the charges if you withhold the deposit. By charging a monthly fee, you are insulating yourself against possible future damage.
On the standard application used by agents, the applicants much include the breed and size of their pets. This helps us do some comprehensive research and also allows us to eliminate some applicants based strictly on that information. Some owners are only willing to accept pets of a particular size.
We like to go one step further and request pet references. If the applicants are currently renting a property, we speak with their current landlord or property manager to see if there have been any issues with the pets.
Whether you decide to charge and pet fee, pet deposit, or both you want to make sure you vet your tenants and their pets before signing the lease. I hope you found this information helpful. Don’t forget to check out our Ultimate Guide to Renting Your Home Without an Agent.
If you’re thinking about renting your investment property and want to enlist the help of a professional give, me, Abraham Walker, a call at 703-539-2053 or email me.
About the Author
The above article was written by Abraham Walker, Your Northern Virginia Real Estate Agent, helping clients market their homes to achieve high sales with a quick closing time is my main priority. He’s the co-founder of Ask A Walker and can be found on YouTube, Facebook, and HERE on this blog.