Saturday, March 21, 2009

Pet Deposits. What's fair?

I have been searching for the perfect apartment at a decent price. One of the things I have to ask about is the complex's policy on pets. I have two female and fixed cats, Obi Wan and Bella.

I have heard $300 from nearly every complex I have spoken to. One complex was so apologetic about the deposit that they offered to break it up over the course of the lease. In most cases, the deposit has been refundable.

Friday, I called a complex that I will not name. The pet policy is that you must pay a non-refundable fee of $300 per cat and $15 per cat for pet rent per month. The fee is much higher for dogs. I asked the Property Manager why she thought these fees were fair. She didn't try to explain or be polite. She said that those were the fees and that they were not negotiable.

I have no problem paying a pet deposit. I understand that a property manager must protect their property. I just don't understand why the amount should be so large that it's completely off putting. If you don't want to allow pets, simply don't allow them.

What amount do you think is fair? I suppose that in a statistical world I would take all the damage done by animals over a given period of time (say 5 years) and charge whatever the average is. I can't imagine that amount being over $300, especially when you factor in the normal deposit that I am already paying for the apartment.

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