Pets are like family to many prospective tenants, making it is hard to say no to a tenant who has a pet. However, with our experience in property management, we know that as a landlord, it is important to know the difference between pet deposits, pet fees, and pet rent.
Depending on whether you want to accept small and large pets, you can charge more based on the effort it will take to clean the property and repair the damages that might come with it.
As a landlord in Orlando, you are not allowed to turn down tenants who have a service or companion dog. Moreover, if you do allow pets, you have a much larger tenant pool to choose from because you are not ruling out pet owners.
Pets can damage the property if they are not properly trained. For this reason, you can ask for a pet deposit prior to renting to a pet owner.
Let’s take a look at the major differences between a pet deposit, a pet fee, and pet rent.
Pet Deposits in Orlando
The keyword in pet deposit is the “deposit.” A deposit is a sum of money that you put down but intend to get back. In this circumstance, you are giving your word in terms of money to show the landlord in Orlando that they can trust that your pet will not do any damage.
If for any reason your pet damages anything and you are responsible for it, the money to pay for the damages will come out of the deposit you left. Most landlords will require you to leave a pet deposit just for reassurance. A lot of times you can convince landlords in Orlando, Florida who see more cons than pros of allowing pets to accept yours by leaving a deposit. This will show them that you are willing to take full responsibility for any problems that could occur as a result of your pet.
The keyword in pet fees is the “fees”, which is money that a tenant pays but does not get back. Many landlords will charge a pet fee that the tenant will not be getting back. This is because it might take you an extended period of time to clean the home once the tenant(s) move(s) out.
A pet fee is generally only charged once at the time the tenant moves in. An issue that is commonly overlooked by many pet owners, is that the floors can get scratched and other minor wear and tears can occur, which might require minor fixing.
Pet rent is rent that is collected on a monthly or agreed-upon basis. Landlords typically charge pet rent per month depending on the type and number of pets the tenant has.
Pet rent is becoming more popular, as it is another way to increase your monthly revenue. If a pet owner really loves your rental property in Orlando and cares for their animal, they will likely be willing to pay a monthly fee for their pet.
The Bottom Line
Now that we have discussed the three different fees you can charge your Orlando renters for allowing pets, there is a question you may still have.
Should I charge a fee at all?
This is entirely up to you and whether or not you believe it rules out quality tenants or not. Most landlords in Orlando make their tenants put down a security deposit before moving in, which you could use for pet damages if need be. This deposit is usually the first and last month’s rent.
The biggest problem with charging a one-time pet fee is that some tenants might not be financially stable. As a result of this, they might not be able to afford to pay for the additional cost of bringing in their pet. This often creates a hurdle and what could have been a potential tenant is now looking elsewhere for a place that does not charge a fee.
We recommend a small deposit or to increase the rent a little every month. Many people react negatively towards having to pay additional fees on top of already paying rent. It can turn off prospective tenants from the start, causing you to lose out on potentially great renters. Your goal as a landlord is to have a good relationship with your tenants from the start, and sometimes a fee might make this hard to achieve.