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Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.
The pet fee is just an additional charge that the landlord imposes for the privilege of having a pet when it otherwise is not allowed. It doesn't limit the damages the landlord can charge for the pet to only the deposit. So any damages that the tenant or the tenant's pet is responsible for, the tenant can be charged.
Any deposits, be they security or pet deposits, can be used to cover any damages, delinquent rent, fees or cleaning costs incurred during the tenant's tenancy and if there are more damages than deposits, the landlord can then sue the tenant in court for any additional damages.
You would just need to comply with your particular state's notice requirements regarding presenting the tenant with an itemized list of damages within a certain amount of time.
As an aside, in addition to being an attorney, I have also been a landlord for over 26 years...
So from what you said, there should be no problem then to deduct that cost from the remaining security deposit?
Also there is not a specific reason as to what the pet fee is for in our month to month rental agreement. It is just listed as a fee.
That doesn't make a difference, it is just an additional amount to compensate you for the additional wear and tear that an animal causes. That doesn't limit your damages though.
Can you use the security deposit for attorneys fees?
No, as I mentioned, you can use it for actual repairs or damages, delinquent rent, cleaning and fees.
You would state something like "pet fee--- 2 additional pets....$100"
And for the holes, yes, that is fine. I would hope that you took photos of the damages prior to having them repaired so you have evidence of them, although the receipts for the repairs would prove that you had work done.
As long as you don't just put something like 'Damages.....$875" and leave it at that without any further explanation you will be fine. But I would make sure that you break things down at least a little bit like for additional pet fee, carpet hole repair, cleaning, etc., etc.
Great, then you should have everything you need to substantiate your deductions as long as you itemize them a bit and then total them up at the bottom of the page and get them out to the tenant within the applicable amount of time depending on your state.
And you are very welcome..