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Old 01-13-2005, 10:38 PM
ChiliBeans's Avatar
ChiliBeans ChiliBeans is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 133
Default Just wondering...

My husband and I are looking for a new apartment as we will be moving cross-country in a few months. We have come across many complexes that do not allow pets at all, some that only allow cats, and ones that do allow pets but charge a non-refundable deposit for the animals. The one complex that we are most interested in is going to charge us a $300 non-refundable deposit for Chili. I don't really understand the business aspect of managing apartment complexes, but I just can't grasp why we would have to pay such an enormous fee to have our pet. And most of all, I don't see why some complexes don't even allow pets or allow only cats. It just seems that the area where we will be moving has so few places that allow pets. I'm just griping, but I really would appreciate it if someone could shed some light on the whole topic for me. Anyone manage apartment complexes? Has anyone else had to deal with this kind of frustration?
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Old 01-13-2005, 10:51 PM
Saje Saje is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 23,932

Dealt with it. Yes. I move a lot. It's always an issue.

I don't know about the tenancy laws where you live. Here in BC they landlord can charge a pet deposit but it is refundable assuming that there's no damage...

As for the no-pet vs cat-only ... question. Well, that's really left up to the discretion of the building manager. I looked at one apartment when I only had a cat and the landlord was really iffy about it. He didn't want her crying while she was alone during the day. I didn't stay there.

I guess they come to their decision based on the area, quality of building (renovated/new...) and the kind of people in the building. If the building has a lot of complainers I don't think they'd accept pets just because so many apartment dogs can be yappy and cats cry...

The thing to keep in my is that it never hurts to ask. Sometimes the rules aren't written in stone. In Vancouver, mortgage rates are really low and a lot of people are buying instead of renting so landlords are bending the rules a little for tenants. Just something to consider. Wouldn't hurt to have good references too.

Hope that helps.

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Old 01-14-2005, 01:29 AM
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ChiliBeans ChiliBeans is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 133

Thanks for the advice! We'll definitely ask more questions, maybe we'll get lucky. I can understand a refundable pet deposit moreso than the nonrefundable one just because I know that my dog will not actually cause any damage. You can barely tell that we own a pet now in our house. Three hundred dollars is pretty steep for our little five-pound wonder! If I ruled the world...instead of a pet deposit, pet owners would only be held accountable for paying for any actual damage that occurs once they move out.
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Old 01-14-2005, 10:53 AM
LoveNewfies LoveNewfies is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 170

Quite honestly, having been a landlord before, it is very difficult to differentiate between the good, responsible pet owners and the not so good, irresponsible pet owners. Financially speaking, it is quite a risk for a landlord to take to accept pets at all. Keep in mind, when looking for an apartment everyone does claim to be a responsible pet owner, dogs that are not at all destructive, not aggressive, don't mess the house, etc., etc., etc. Have you ever heard anyone say "yeah, I'd like to rent your apartment - I have a big, lopey, messy, untrained dog that will tear this place apart in no time"? Obviously there are many, many irresponsible pet owners.

I'm not sure of the laws where you are, but, it sounds to me as though any pet deposits that are received probably go into an account-some dogs will cause more than 300.00 worth of damage, some no damage at all - kind of like a trust for pet damages - I guess it's just a way to keep the landlord covered in the case of some sort of destruction without having to worry about chasing an old tenant around to pay for damages.

That being said, I have two cats and a big Newfie - I don't think anyone will rent to me!!!
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Old 01-14-2005, 10:54 AM
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Renee750il Renee750il is offline
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Where the selas blooms
Posts: 94,266

Oh, Chili - I wish everyone were more like you. Rotten things just never seem to occur to honest people. That's one way I used to "read" clients (and witnesses) when I worked with a criminal defense attorney. You would never even think about doing it, so you don't think about others doing it, but tenants who cause a lot of damage almost never make it good when they leave - and they often move out in the middle of the night a month or two behind on the rent.

If you'll talk to the owner/manager, you may find that the deposit is not necessarily non-refundable.
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