Deciding whether or not to allow pets in your Orlando rental property can be a difficult decision to make. There are many pros and cons to each side.

With our experience in the industry, we’ve learned that pets can cause property damage but can also significantly raise the interest of tenants renting your property.

A large percentage of property owners do not allow pets and have negative repercussions for those who try to sneak them in. For this reason, you can differentiate yourself from the competition to get the most out of your rental property by allowing pets.

It’s been shown that tenants who own pets are more likely to rent long-term. As such, less time and money need to be spent preparing the property for a new renter.

Continue reading to get an overview of important terms for pet-friendly rentals like pet deposits, pet fees, and pet rent for your Orlando property.

 

What is a pet deposit?

A pet deposit is an up-front payment made by the tenant. The deposit covers any possible damage caused by their pet.

When determining the exact pet deposit sum, factor in the following:

  • What kind of a pet do they have?
  • Do they have more than one pet?
  • How big is/are the pet(s)?
  • What is the property’s value?

It’s important to account for the type of pet and its size. For example, having a rabbit is very different from a large dog. Hence, the fees should reflect the risk potential accordingly. Also, weighing in the property value is essential. The repairs needed in a luxurious penthouse differ from the costs in an older one-bedroom apartment.

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Another issue concerns the pet deposit refunds. The refund depends whether the animal created any damage. The overall procedure should look identical to the regular security deposit process.

Document everything in the move-in and move-out inspections. When you notice any pet-related damage upon the move-out inspection, ensure to take note of it. Create a document that shows how much money you spent on repairs. After that, you can show what part, if any, of the deposit is available for return.

 

What are pet fees?

Pet fees rest on the idea that pets create additional wear and tear. It’s not important whether there’s actual damage involved. For this reason, unlike the pet deposit, the pet fee in most cases doesn’t get returned to the tenant.

Determining the sum of the pet fees takes careful planning. They have to be in a reasonable range, somewhere between $100 and $300. When they are too high, your tenant could challenge the fees in court.

 

What is pet rent?

The difference between pet rent and the other two are quite simple. Pet deposits and fees are one-time charges. However, pet rent is a recurring payment. The idea behind this is the same as in the case of pet fees. Additional wear and tear needs adequate compensation.

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The rent payment should depend on the following factors:

  • What kind of pet or pets the tenants have? For example, guinea pigs, cats, or dogs.
  • How big are the pets? Small, medium, or large?
  • How many pets do they have? One dog has less potential to cause damage than three.

 

What is a pet agreement?

When you allow pets in your rental property, signing a pet agreement is an essential step. This is to ensure that the tenants are aware of the rules concerning their pets. The agreement should cover the following matters:

  • The list of admitted pet types. Any weight limits or other restrictions.
  • Their pets need to have proper identification.
  • All the required vaccinations come with documentation.
  • Liability insurance for dog owners.
  • Any aspects related to sound control.
  • They hold necessary licenses for their pet(s).
  • The owner’s responsibilities, including adequate supervision and correct waste removal.

 

What is a pet interview?

Some landlords conduct a separate interview concerning pet ownership.

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Here’s a list of questions that you could ask:

  • How long have you had this pet?
  • How old is your pet?
  • Have you ever experienced a situation where your pet has acted aggressively towards people or other animals?
  • Are you the only person responsible for the pet? If not, then who are the other people?
  • Does your pet have any habits that could potentially damage the property? This includes scratching, biting, and nibbling on anything inside the property.
  • Does your pet make sounds at night? If yes, how do you keep them under control?
  • Did you receive any complaints from neighbors in your former rental?

 

The bottom line: how do pet fees, rent, and deposits differ?

Pets can cause damage and additional wear and tear. It’s important for pet-friendly rentals in Orlando to understand the difference between pet fees, pet rent, and pet deposits.

A pet deposit and pet fee are one-time charges. A pet deposit is the only one that can be refunded.

Pet rent is a monthly fee that covers an increase in the property’s normal wear and tear. The actual amount of any of these charges depends on the size, number, and type of pets.