Landlords rationalize extra rent for pet owners as group insurance

by sarah dahnke on 10/10/06

South Loop dogs

We here at Yo have a big heart when it comes to friends of the furry nature, but keeping a dog in a small Chicago apartment has always put us on the fence. On one hand, we’d love a little puppy to be waiting for us at the door when we came home, something to shower us with love and affection and curl up with us in bed at night. On the other hand, keeping a dog in an apartment often seems cruel because despite the number of dog parks available in the city, the majority of a Chicago dog’s life is going to be spent in cramped quarters.

The San Jose Mercury News reported that pet parents across the country are increasingly able to keep their furry friends in their apartments – at a price. “Pet rent” has long been established in cities such as San Francisco, but it is a trend that is spreading from coast to coat. The story cited apartment owners who pay $20 to $100 extra per month to keep their dogs and cats in their already expensive (between $1,000 and $2,000 per month) apartments. Most pet owners don’t really mind shelling out the cash because they love their animal like a child and can’t bear to part with it.

South Loop dog lover

The newspaper said that landlords see pet rent as a kind of a group insurance because even though not all animals are going to cause damage to an apartment, the extra money will cover the damage that does occur. Plus, according to Bay Area management company Horizon Management Group, about one-third of potential renters have or would like to have pets. More interested renters = more money! Chicago landlords who allow pets tend to charge an additional “pet deposit” to renters with animals, and many have size restrictions for dogs. It is not uncommon for landlords to request that pets be under 20 lbs., and we, much like the pet owners interviewed in the Mercury News article, have never minded the small financial inconvenience if it means we don’t have to part with our special friend.

What price have you had to pay to keep an animal in your apartment? Is it worth it? Should all of us apartment renters / pet owners start over with goldfish? Click on “Comments” below to give us your take.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

anon October 10, 2006 at 1:22 PM

“Pet Deposit” – how apt, lol

Reply

vzekas October 10, 2006 at 3:57 PM

In our aparment, we had to put down a $300 or $400 dollar deposit, which was paid by my roomate that owns the dog. We have a small dog that has not done any damage since we have lived in our apartment and our landlord does not seem to have any problem with it.

I think that the deposit is worth it. We had to bring in our dog for our landlord to meet because he had never had a dog in any of his apartments before, but after he met our dog he was ok with it.

Reply

Lynette Rojo May 3, 2007 at 6:49 PM

Question: Is there a specific Civil Code or law in the State of California that states that a Pet Monthly rent besides a Pet Security Deposit is legal?

Thank you.

Reply

Joe Zekas May 3, 2007 at 7:31 PM

Whatever’s not expressly illegal is legal.

Nothing I’m aware of makes it illegal.

Reply

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