If my apartment complex istrying to stick me with a pet deposit after 6 years, can they do this?

I have a tenant-landlord issue. I have lived in my apartments for 6 years now. When I first moved here there were different owners. When I signed my lease they new I had a cat but waived the fee and didn’t write it down. However, there has never been a problem and there was never an issue. As of 2 years ago we got new ownership. They new ownership that we have a cat and no deposit down but they never asked for one. As of this week my water heater sprung a leak over night. It soaked my children bedroom and ownerhad to call in cleaning people to get the water up.

Asked on December 2, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Oregon


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Whether or not you are required to pay a pet deposit for the rental that you have been occupying for the past 6 years depends upon whether or not the written agreement states that you have one. As such, you need to carefully read your written lease agreement on the subject in that it controls the obligations owed by you to the landlord and vice versa in the absence of conflicting state law.

If the lease is silent on a pet deposit, you have no obligation to pay one presently. If the lease required one to be paid and you never paid it, you can make an argument that the landlord waived the requirement by his or her own actions over the years by never requiring one.

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