Can my landlord request an additional pet deposit for asecond dog if our first dog died?

My dog died 4 months ago and my landlord has never returned my pet deposit of $500. Now we have a new dog and she is assing an additional $200.

Asked on August 28, 2011 California


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Pet deposits are a whole new way that a landlord can eek out additional fees from a tenant.  But what ever the landlord calls it in the state of California you still have to abide by the deposit laws.  And those laws say that although there is not minimum for a security deposit, the maximum can not be more than two months worth of rent.  In total.  That means security plus pet.  And you are also correct that non refundable deposits are illegal in California.  So how is your landlord really couching this deposit?  Is she raising the deposit (is the new dog bigger by chance than the old dog?) or is this a new deposit for a new dog? New deposit? Then you need to get the old one back. Let her know that you know the law.  Good luck.

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