Pet Owners And Renting A Home: How To Negotiate The Pet Deposit

Americans love their pets. In fact, 72% of all renters that were surveyed in 2014 were pet owners. Naturally, property owners who are renting their property out may be hesitant to take in renters who are pet owners considering the fact that pets may cause excessive or additional damage to the homes. Most contracts will, thus, contain a pet deposit clause in order to protect the property owners. If you are a pet owner, familiarizing with your rights involved with owning a pet, and learning how to negotiate the pet deposit, is crucial in keeping your rent low and affordable.

The Fundamentals of Pet Deposit

Naturally, having to pay a pet deposit can be a financial burden to some renters, especially since most pet owners are not sure about whether they will receive their pet deposit back by the end of the tenancy. The rental guidelines will differ, and some landlords charge over $100 for the pet deposit alone. The cost of the pet deposit will depend on the landlord's preferences, the type of rental unit that you are interested in, the size of your pet, and whether you have more than one pet residing with you.

Getting back the pet deposit can be difficult, which is why you should have concrete terms and conditions listed in the rental agreement. The rental agreement should outline the responsibilities that you have as pet owner and a renter, and also what conditions will be taken into consideration when determining whether or not you will be receiving the pet deposit back at the end of your tenancy.

Negotiating the Pet Deposit

Luckily, in the U.S., pet owners can negotiate the amount of pet deposit that is required with their landlords since there are no rules and laws set up specifically in regards to this situation. Since most landlords charge a pet deposit in order to protect themselves financially should your pet cause any damage, you want to provide concrete proof that you are a responsible pet owner when you are negotiating the pet deposit. Here are several things that you can do:

  • provide a letter of recommendation from a licensed veterinarian or from previous landlords. Although you know that your four-legged friend is going to behave and not scratch up the home, your new landlord doesn't, and he or she is only concerned about the possibility of it happening. Get a veterinarian to write a letter of recommendation that provides information regarding whether you have been diligent in taking your pet to the vet for all of its shots or that your pet has been neutered or spayed and is up to date with its shots. Also, get a letter of recommendation from previous landlords that specify that your pet has not damaged the property.
  • provide information regarding any obedience training that your pet has participated in. By obtaining written proof that your pet has gone through and successfully passed all obedience training classes, you can help alleviate some of the concerns that your new landlord may have. 
  • purchase renter's insurance. Make sure that you get a renter's insurance policy that covers damages that are caused by your pets. This will show your new landlord that you are financially responsible in having a pet, and that you will be willing to cover any damages that are incurred during your rental term.
  • have your landlord meet your pet. If your landlord is still on the fence, consider setting up an interview or a chance for your new landlord to meet your pet and find out what a fun, bubbly companion it is. During the interview, your landlord will have a chance to see whether your pet is aggressive or destructive. If you would like to introduce your pet to your new landlord, make sure that your pet has slept and is relaxed prior to the interview in order to make a good impression.


Keep this information in mind as you look for homes for rent in your area. There are many rental opportunities that are pet-friendly, and even if your landlord is on the fence about allowing you to have a pet, these tips and tricks can help you sway his or her opinion. A pet is a great companion to have, and the fact that you are renting a property should not restrict you from being able to enjoy this luxury in life.