How Much is Too Much to Spend on a Pet Deposit?

Dog and owner in apartment.

Niccole Schreck – Rent.com

 

Moving with a pet can be coupled with unexpected expenses and roadblocks. According to a Rent.com survey of 500 U.S. renters with pets, almost half of respondents (48 percent) said that the biggest concern of moving with their feline or pup was the pet deposit. Some landlords are leery of tenants with pets, so they require a pet deposit on top of your security deposit, just in case your pet causes damages while you’re living in your new home.

While it is definitely possible to get your pet deposit back after your lease is over, here are some tips to make sure you are not overpaying on that deposit:

  • What does the typical pet deposit cost? Unfortunately, there is no standard fee for a pet deposit. Amounts will vary depending on how many pets you have, as well as their size and breed. Where you’re living and a landlord’s past experiences can be factors, too. Although the amount is very arbitrary, 71 percent of pet owners surveyed by Rent.com said they would expect to spend $200 or less on a pet deposit for a one-year lease.
  • How can I negotiate a pet deposit? Depending on your landlord, you can essentially barter your way into a lower pet deposit by proving you and your pet are trustworthy, well-behaved and responsible. Have you taken your pooch to obedience training classes? Is your pet a certified therapy animal? The more evidence you have – including written proof – the more likely you will be able to convince your new landlord that you will respect your home!
  • What else can I do to prove I’m responsible? Renters insurance is always recommended, but if you are a pet owner, be sure to get a policy that covers pet-related damages. A policy with liability coverage is another useful tool for when you’re negotiating pet deposits and shows that you actively take charge of your finances. The more comfortable your landlord feels, the better your chances are for leveraging a cheaper pet deposit. You can also suggest a pet interview, so your landlord can see firsthand that your four-legged friend is a good fit for an apartment – not too aggressive or energetic.

Although having a pet while living in rental property can be expensive and come with added costs like a pet deposit, do not be like the 10 percent of surveyed renters who have actually hidden a pet from a landlord. If a landlord finds out you’ve been going against your lease and hiding a pet, you could be at risk for eviction! The bottom line, best bet is to be upfront and honest so you can find a wonderful home that is the perfect fit for both you AND your furry companion.

Niccole Schreck is a rental experience expert for Rent.com, a free rental site that helps you find an affordable pet-friendly apartment and provides tips on how to move with your pet. She is also the proud owner of two dogs, Bella and Wallace and a cat named Frisby.