Do we have to pay a pet deposit that was required after we signed the rental agreement?

My friend and I recently moved in to an apartment. We mentioned on both of our applications that we would have cats with us and we specifically asked the landlady if there would be a pet deposit. She said there wouldn’t be and there was no pet fee on the agreement/lease form that we signed. It was two or three weeks later when we found an envelope attached to our door with a form for a pet deposit. Do we have to pay it?

Asked on October 10, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Oregon

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The lease is a contract between landlord and tenant.  Since the pet deposit was not required when you signed the lease, you do not have to pay it at this time.  However, when the lease is up, the landlord can change the terms of the lease upon proper notice to you and you would be bound by the new terms such as a pet deposit when renewing the lease.  If your lease is month-to-month, the landlord could change the terms and require a pet deposit provided that you are given thirty days written notice of this change of terms. 


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