Maryland Pet

How to Always Get Your Deposit Back When Renting with Pets


Whether you’ve moved frequently or not, as a pet owner, you know that renting with your furry friend can be difficult at times. With a pet large or small, your options in living arrangements are reduced. You want to find a place that provides a happy, safe environment for your pet, while not paying exorbitant pet fees.  Most pet owners want to maximize the amount of their pet deposit they get to keep. In a move, every bit back to provide for you and your pet’s new living arrangement counts. Plus, getting your deposit back can be a positive mark on your rental history. 

Here are some tips to make sure you leave your apartment the same (or nearly the same) way you left it: 

Do Your Research Before You Move

A large part of ensuring your pet lives harmoniously in your place comes with finding the right fit. Before signing anything, be sure to fully understand what fees you’re agreeing to, and under what conditions. Understand the differences between a pet deposit, pet rent, and pet fees. Of these, only pet deposits are refundable. Deposits, fees, and rent may vary greatly from apartment to apartment, so be sure to know each of these upfront. In addition, make sure you know your rights in your own state. 

If you’ve found the perfect place, but the landlord has a weight limit, or restrictive pet policy, don’t be afraid to negotiate. Having your landlord meet your pet or even showing them a pet resume can change their mind. When it comes to fees, you may also be able to waive or reduce the deposit or pent rent. Either way, make sure you and your landlord get any potential agreements in writing. 

Preventative Measures

We all know even well-behaved pets have a mind of their own. So on one of the best ways to ensure your apartment isn’t damaged is to pet-proof thoroughly. It’s best to decide as early as possible on areas that your pet won’t be allowed in, and block these off. 

Be sure to also set up a cozy and comfortable place for your pet with familiar toys and scents to ease them through this transition. Making sure your pet feels happy, secure, and gets enough exercise each day will greatly help curb and potential bad habits. Paying a daytime dog-walker is a small price to pay for your pet’s happiness. 

If your pet has a tendency to claw, or chew, cover any potentially vulnerable corners or doors with protective coverings, and consider temporarily replacing fragile elements like mini-blinds. Conduct a thorough walk-through of your home as soon as you move-in to make sure you aren’t responsible for any pre-existing damage in the apartment. 

Upon Move-Out

The final step is ensuring that your move out is as easy as it can be and that you identify and mitigate any possible damages. Conduct a careful assessment of your apartment, and make a list of areas you need to deep clean, fix, or replace. Some costs will be more reasonable than others. Giving your carpets a quick shampoo and painting over surface-level scratches are often worthwhile. However, deep stains over a large area or damaged walls may take more time and money than is reasonable for you to repair yourself. 

It’s a good idea to plan your move out so you have more time you think you need. This allows you to fully address any areas that need extra attention. Plus, giving your apartment some time to air out can go a long way towards reducing any lingering pet odors. 

Since it can be hard to pick details in a place you spent so long in, you may want to ask a friend to do a walk-through as well to spot any last-minute places to clean or repair.  

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