On the day I adopted my cat/son Chester, I went to the leasing office to register him so I could have the joyful experience of placing a pet deposit of $150 and adding $30 per month to my rent. In my current DC locale, there was no deposit, but I still pay an extra $50 per month on top of my rent.
My friend Heather and I conversed as we waited for a private dolphin experience at Baltimore’s National Aquarium, and I brought up my rent, and we agreed “pet rent” is an industry-wide scam perpetuated by the apartment leasing industry. It brought back memories of postings I’ve read in various Childfree groups. After all, human babies make way more mess than pets do (as do some toddlers, teenagers, and adults as well).
Some justification behind this policy is that the paws of pets can cause more “wear and tear” on carpet than humans. And babies don’t make puke? Toddlers don’t write on walls? Hell, drunk teenagers (and adults) don’t punch holes in walls?
Kids can cause as much (if more) damage than humans. If the apartment leasing industry is really hell-bent on making money, they could charge a “kid deposit,” which should be equal to the “pet deposit” if not more so. But since this would be a violation of federal law (and I do empathize with single parents), I don’t endorse that route.
But if you do want to ensure that pet owners are going to be responsible, you could have the pet owners sign an agreement which requires them to pay for any damages caused by the pet. I consider myself a responsible cat Dad, so I’d sign it. But you’d have to do it for parents of human children as well. Most are responsible, but some aren’t. The same goes with pet owners.
Leasing companies, if you’re all about equality for “families,” extend it to pet families too.
My name is Craig. I'm an educator, writer, and unapologetic singleton. When not reading, writing, or teaching, I enjoy hiking, running, watching movies, going to concerts, spending time with friends, and playing with my cat/son, Chester.