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The Top Four Ways Residents Barter for a Lower Pet Deposit

Digested From “How Much Should You Pay for a Pet Deposit?”
U.S. News & World Report (07/17/13) Schreck, Niccole

A recent poll of 500 U.S. apartment residents with pets found that 48 percent said the pet deposit was their "biggest headache" when moving with a pet.  Pet deposits are typically charged in addition to the usual security deposit before a resident moves in to cover any damages that may be caused by an animal during the resident's lease term. At the end of the lease agreement, some apartment owners will refund the pet deposit if the unit is undamaged. Others will keep all or part of the deposit as a cleaning fee.  

Most owners and managers have legitimate concerns when it comes to renting to pet owners. Many are reluctant because they fear pets will damage the apartment, make too much noise, or inconvenience other residents. Deposit amounts vary depending on how many and what kinds of pets the resident has, the size, the breed, the apartment community's location and even the owner's past experiences. Pet deposits can be negotiable depending on the owner.

Residents have found that the best way to barter for a lower pet deposit is to build the owner/manager's comfort level with one's pet(s), which can be done in several ways:

  1. A recommendation letter from a past owner or manager stating that the animal was well behaved and left the previous rental unit in good shape can go a long way toward easing an owner or manager's mind. 
  2. Written proof of formal obedience training.
  3. A rental insurance policy shows owners that a potential resident is willing to be financially responsible for his/her pet.
  4. In some cases, an owner/manager will conduct a "pet interview" to see first-hand if an animal is aggressive or too energetic for an apartment.

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