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What to Know About Pet Rent

What to Know About Pet Rent

If you're a pet owner considering moving into an apartment or rental property, you may have come across the term "pet rent." It's an additional fee that many properties charge, but what exactly is it, and why do some apartments have it? Let's delve into the intricacies of pet rent and understand its purpose, benefits, and how to navigate it effectively.

Understanding Pet Rent: The Basics

Pet rent is a monthly fee added to a tenant's regular rent, specifically for allowing their pets to reside in the apartment. It's distinct from pet deposits, which are typically one-time charges designed to cover potential damages caused by pets.

Why Do Landlords Charge Pet Rent?

There are several valid reasons:

  • Maintenance Costs: Pets can add wear and tear to an apartment, from scratches on the doors to stains on the carpet.
  • Amenities: Some complexes offer pet-friendly amenities such as dog parks or pet grooming stations, which require upkeep.
  • Insurance: Some properties might have higher insurance premiums because they allow pets.
  • Flexibility for Renters: Instead of charging a large, non-refundable deposit, pet rent can spread out the additional cost over time.

Researching Pet Policies: A Renter’s Guide

Before diving into your rental search, it's essential to:

  • Use Online Platforms: Websites, like UMoveFree, provide detailed listings, which often include pet policies for various rentals.
  • Engage with Potential Rentals: Reaching out directly can offer clarity on any hidden fees or specific breed or weight restrictions.

Pet Deposits vs. Pet Rent: What’s the Difference?

  • Pet Deposits: This is a one-time fee that may be refundable if there's no pet-related damage when you move out.
  • Pet Rent: A smaller, recurring monthly fee which adds up over the duration of the lease. It’s essential to budget for this if your chosen property charges it.

Preparing for Pet-Related Discussions

Being proactive can ease potential negotiations:

  • Have Vet and Personal References: Demonstrating your pet's good behavior and health can be reassuring to landlords.
  • Consider Creating a Pet Resume: Highlighting your pet’s best qualities and past rental experiences can be a unique way to build trust.

Special Note on ESAs

Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) serve individuals with specific emotional or mental health challenges. Recognized by laws such as the federal Fair Housing Act and California’s fair housing laws, landlords usually accommodate ESAs differently from regular pets. Always ensure the authenticity of an ESA to avoid any misunderstandings.

A Word of Caution

While it's always advisable to seek properties that align with your needs, it's equally important to be honest about your pet situation. Sneaking a pet into a property can lead to complications, including potential eviction.


Pet rent, like any other rental factor, is something potential renters should research and understand before committing to a lease. While it might seem like an additional expense, it often goes toward ensuring the property remains a great environment for everyone, pets included. Remember, platforms like UMoveFree aim to clarify the rental process, ensuring both you and your pet find the perfect home.