Pet Calculator: Pet Fees and Pet Rent

According to the 2019-2020 National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association (APPA), 67% of American households (about 85 million families) own a pet. As a result, to market your property to a larger group of eligible renters, consider allowing pets in your rental. Your first thought is that the costs of cleaning and damages from pets are too large to overcome. However, consider how much extra income you can earn from pet rent and pet fees. Simply enter into this pet fees calculator your monthly rent, anticipated pet rent, and any other associated pet fees and see how much can increase your annual revenue.

Pet Calculator:

$0.00

Annual Income With Pets

$0.00

Annual Income Without Pets

$0.00

Extra Income ($)

0.00

Extra Income (%)

What is the Difference Between Pet Fees and Pet Rent?

As a landlord, you can charge pet rent or an up-front pet fee for rental to cover any damages to your property caused by pets. You will want to know the difference between the two when looking at our pet fee calculator.

Pet Fees

A pet fee for rental is a nonrefundable payment beginning of a tenancy.  The premise is that landlords are extending a special privilege to tenants with pets, and that there is a basic understanding that pets are generally hard on properties.  A pet fee compensates the property owner for taking the risk of allowing animals in the rental.  Some landlords charge per-pet, or by the size or species of the animal.

Pros

  • You get money up-front and it is not refundable.  If there is no damage, then this is increased revenue. 
  • Money in hand now, for sure, is better than having to chase tenants to reimburse you for repairs later.
  • If you discover animals have impacted your property after you’ve refunded any deposits, at least you’ll have the pet fee you’ve already collected to help pay for repairs.

Cons

  • The amount you charge may not cover all the damage caused by pets.
  • Charging a pet fee may raise a barrier to filling your vacancy quickly.  No one likes to fork over money they will never get back, and many times tenants believe – and will try to convince you – that their animals won’t have any negative impact on your property.
  • Many states, including California, do not allow collecting nonrefundable pet fees from renters.

Pet Deposits

A pet deposit is a refundable payment collected at the beginning of a lease. If upon the move-out inspection you find that there is no pet damage, you will have to return the amount in full.  Pet deposits can cover issues such as:

  • Animal hair and odors, especially in carpets and blinds
  • Pest infestations
  • Scratches on doors or floors
  • Chewed baseboards
  • Urine stains

Pros

  • In case of serious pet damages, you have funds in reserve.
  • Due to its refundable nature, renters are more likely to be willing to pay it upfront.
  • As a refundable deposit is attractive to renters, it can increase your pool of potential applicants.

Cons

  • Pet deposits can be tricky from a legal perspective because of the specific local rules that landlords must follow.
  • A deposit that’s collected specifically to cover a pet’s impact usually cannot be used to cover other expenses.
  • If there’s no pet-related property damage, you will have to return the amount in full.

Takeaway

Doing a quick calculation with this pet fees calculator should be your first step in deciding whether to allow pets in your rental.

Of course, you should balance this against any additional damages and cleaning costs you may encounter from having pets in your rental. And as we have discussed elsewhere, we recommend screening tenants carefully, meeting the pets in person, implementing a formal pet policy, charging pet rent/deposits, and requiring renters insurance that covers animals on your property. 

internal link Related: Should I Accept Pets in My Rental?

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and Landlord Gurus may earn a commission. Our mission remains to provide valuable resources and information that helps landlords manage their rental properties efficiently and profitably. We link to these companies and their products because of their quality, not because of the commission.