Can my landlord charge me 24 months of back pet rent if she forgot to add it to my rent?

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Can my landlord charge me 24 months of back pet rent if she forgot to add it to my rent?

I moved in my apartment with a cat and told my landlord that I had him. When I signed the lease it said $670 a month and that this was including a $10 cat rent. They said I had to pay each month. Now, after 2 years, they are saying that I owe them $240 for back pet rent and $150 for a pet deposit. The landlord has called me about every 2 weeks for 2 years about my broken blinds. I’d reply my cat broke them and I would fix then within the day. So she knew I had the cat without any question. Does the landlord have the right to charge me back pet rent?

Asked on November 22, 2011 under Real Estate Law, South Dakota

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If your written lease had a charge for pets and you did not pay the full amount to your landlord on a monthly basis as agreed to under the lease, the landlord can go back in time and surcharge you the back pet rent and the back pet deposit. From what you have written, the landlord has the right to ask you to pay what you agreed to pay at this time.

If you knew you were obligated for the secuirty deposit for the pet, you should have paid it when you entered into the lease. Given your admission that the cat broke the blinds at the rental, there is even more the reason for the landlord to get the back pet rent and the security deposit for the animals.


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