Non-refundable pet fee, pay now or later?

By Concerned and poor

I’ve been living at an apartment for a couple of years now. Recently, I got a cat, but since I’m still under my current lease, I had not informed them. Recently, apartment people came in to inspect fire extinguishers and smoke alarms. The next day, I got a notice saying that they had been notified that I had a pet and demanded I pay a non-refundable pet fee deposit of $500. So I have a few questions regarding this.

1. Am I required to pay the deposit now, since I had no pets when I signed the lease? Or am I entitled to declare and pay only when I go to renew?

2. Can they legally enter my apartment having declared that they were perfoming safety inspections and then use that oppurtunity to search for pets – a completely unrelated, and undeclared, intention?

It seems that this is a problem with alot of tennants – they seemed to use the excuse of checking equipement as a way to gain access to the apartment to search for pets – and increase their own coffers. I’m not arguing that they also had a legitimate purpose, but that they were not truthful about all of their intentions.

Edited on: Wednesday, June 26th, 2013 6:45 pm

3 Responses to “Non-refundable pet fee, pay now or later?”

My response: (We welcome stories, examples, explanations, answers and a touch of your personality)


October 6th, 2010 6:40 pm

So you got a pet even though you knew it was in violation of your lease and somehow you think the landlord is to blame because they discovered the pet?

Wrong! Warning reality check coming… You are the one that violated the lease by bringing in a pet and now you are responsible for those actions. I’m not a landlord, but I used to work for a cleaning company that would frequently get apartments ready for rent. Apartments that had pets always cost much more to clean and took many more hours to do. Some people are very sensitive to pet dander, thus apartment complexes will charge a non-refundable pet deposit. The fact that you have a pet without permission makes you fully responsible for the fee. You don’t have the luxury to wait until you renew your lease… You have the pet now, you will be required to pay now.

If you don’t pay the fee immediately, I can almost guarantee that you will be evicted. I hope your cat’s worth it!!


October 7th, 2010 3:08 am


You don’t have a choice. You’re gonna have to pay the pet deposit now or face eviction. There are absolutely no tenant rights when it comes to pets. Count your blessings that you’re not being evicted. When we find pets we charge our tenants a pet cleaning fee and require the pet to be relocated. Personally where I work, we have a strict pet policy. If you were renting at my property, you would be asking about how to stop an eviction.

BTW: Its perfectly legal for your landlord to inspect your unit for compliance anytime they wish. It has no merit that they were doing an unrelated maintenance request.

love my grand dogs

October 29th, 2014 4:20 pm

Its not to increase their coffers its to cut their losses. Pets stain rugs and scratch woodwork. I love pets but they do damage property even the best ones I know because I have them.


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