Can I be charged for pet damages if I paid a non-refundable pet deposit plus an additional monthly fee per pet?

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Can I be charged for pet damages if I paid a non-refundable pet deposit plus an additional monthly fee per pet?

When I moved in no security deposit was required. I paid a $250 non-refundable pet deposit. Plus each month I was paying close to $50 each of my pets. A month after I moved out, they sent me a bill for $409 for pet damages to the rug. They have already received over $1000 in pet fees over the course of the year. Can they get away with this?

Asked on July 2, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Tenants are responsible for the damage done by them, their households/families, their guests, and their pets. A pet fee and/or pet deposit does not automatically change that. It could be the case that, in exchange for paying these fees or deposits, you would have no further liability for pet damage--but that would only be the case if the lease specifically says that. If the lease does not state that you have some release or exception to liability because of the amounts you have paid, then the general rule-that a tenant is financially responsible for damage to his or her aparment, including pet damage--would apply, and the landlord could seek compensation from you.


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