Pet rent is a monthly charge a tenant pays to keep their animal in the rental.

What is Pet Rent?

An Essential Property Management Term

Pet rent is a monthly charge a tenant pays to keep their animal in the rental. Service animals and emotional support animals (ESAs) cannot be charged additional fees, including pet rent, per the Fair Housing Act

According to the legislation, “An assistance animal is not a pet. It is an animal that works, provides assistance, or performs tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability, or provides emotional support that alleviates one or more identified symptoms or effects of a person’s disability.”

How Much Should I Charge for Pet Rent?

According to Petfinder’s study, pet rent premiums were 20-30% of the average rent. Check your local landlord-tenant laws to see if they specify the amount of pet rent you can charge.

For the time being, let’s use the average pet rent premium to illustrate how you could increase your profits by renting to pet owners. If you charge $1,000 for a pet-free unit, you could bring in $1,200-$1,300 by allowing a four-legged tenant. 

Is It Legal to Charge Pet Rent and Pet Deposit?

Assuming your local laws don’t forbid charging pet rent and a pet deposit, you can charge both. The pet deposit is a one-time, often refundable fee paid upon move-in whereas pet rent is an ongoing fee paid monthly.

Just be sure to research what other landlords are charging in your area so your pricing remains competitive and attainable.

Does Pet Rent Cover Damages?

No, pet rent doesn’t cover damages caused by non-human tenants. A pet deposit can be used to cover pet damages (and only pet damages), but you must provide your human tenant an itemized list of charges if you’re not returning their full pet deposit. 

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