When you and your furry best friend are looking for an apartment to call home, pet-friendly apartments are what you need to look for! And if you’re thinking how can people (landlords) be so cold-hearted as to not allow a little furry buddy inside the apartment that they’re not even going to be living in, well, they have their reasons. However, thankfully, some landlords have succumbed to loving our four-legged friends and will allow it. But like all good things in life, it doesn’t come for free, unfortunately. So here’s everything you need to know about pet-friendly apartments, and the differences between pet fees, pet security deposit, and pet rent.

First things first, how do you find pet friendly apartments?

Say it with us: Renters’ rights!

Read up on state laws to find out whether pets are allowed for renters to keep wherever you live. Then head on to helpful websites like people with pets, or use Roomi’s awesome pet filter to find rooms and roommates that are okay with pets!

Now once you find pet-friendly apartments to shortlist, let’s get to know about the pet fees you’ll need to incur to make sure Floofy pays his/her share of rent (through you of course.)

Okay, so what’s the damage?

Before diving deep into the costs, make sure it’s all there on the lease so you don’t end up paying more pet fees than you should.

Pet deposit

Just like you pay a security deposit when you rent an apartment, when you rent pet friendly apartments, the landlord might want you to pay a pet security deposit along with pet fees (more on that below). Of course, this is to make sure sparky keeps his job and continues to pay rent. And also, because in the case of any major destruction (that any pet will surely cause) can be covered with that money.

Fair enough, right?

And the good thing is, just like regular security deposit, if you and your four legged roommate are well trained and leave the apartment in good condition when you move, you’ll get this money back.

Varied by location, the average pet deposit ranges between 40% and 85% of the rent, as per Petfinder.

Pet rent

Now this is a kind of pet fees that is not refundable. Just like you pay a monthly rent for your own stay, you’ve got to pay pet rent, that can range from $ 10 – 60. However, the pet rent depends on factors such as the pet’s size, whether the property is urban or suburban, and even past personal experiences of the landlord with pets.

But make sure you check state laws and have this on the lease before you sign and agree to the pet rent demanded by your landlord. Good experiences = low rent, and vice versa!

So what are pet fees?

While pet rent and pet deposit do account for types of pet fees in pet friendly apartments, pet fees is an additional cost that landlords charge to allow a pet to pee in their property. (oops, we mean, be.)

It can range from $200-500, but again, make sure to check the laws of the area you live in, and also make sure it’s on the lease.

Do I have to pay pet fees for a service animal?

As Humane Society mentions:

Service and assistance animals are not technically pets and owners do not have to pay pet fees. The landlord, however, can charge a pet security deposit and may still seek money from the tenant if there is any damage caused by the animal to the home.

Moreover, landlords do not have the right to refuse service or assistance animals under any circumstance.

Under the FHA, a disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment which significantly limits a person’s major life activities. Even if a lease says “no pets” or restricts pets, landlords are required to make what is called a “reasonable accommodation” to allow pets who serve as assistance animals, which includes animals who provide emotional support.

So there you have it. May you and your furry friend live happily ever after in your new apartment!

D’you know what else Roomi does outside of helping its readers find pet-friendly apartments and everything in between? With our ever-increasing lists of rooms and roommates across the world, we help you find your perfect match! Download the app here and hop on the easiest ride home, ever!