If my apartment has a non-refundable pet deposit, can they want to deduct flea cleaning from my security deposit when I move out?

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If my apartment has a non-refundable pet deposit, can they want to deduct flea cleaning from my security deposit when I move out?

The agreement also says, “This pet fee is not to be construed as a damage or security fee nor used towards damages from this pet”. So in other words I am just giving them $300 to grant me permission to own a pet. Can they charge me a fee for this when it is used for absolutely nothing. Shouldn’t the fee have to be used to cover damages the pet may cause and/or the flea treatment? Our dog does not have fleas; he is treated every month by a vet.

Asked on April 3, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Alabama

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Yes, they may charge you a $300 fee simply for having a pet, and not apply it to pet damage, so long as the terms of the fee are disclosed prior to you signing or executing the agreement. The law does not preclude charging someone extra due to a pet, so long as there is no fraud or deception involved.


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