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barristerinky
barristerinky, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 36226
Experience:  Attorney over 16 years, landlord 26 years
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What are my limits to what I can charge the renters related

Customer Question

What are my limits to what I can charge the renters for damages related to pet damage, and how does the pet fee count toward this when the damages are greater than the pet deposit, and can I use the security deposit toward the remaining damages? Do I have
limitations?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  barristerinky replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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As an aside, in addition to being an attorney, I have also been a landlord for over 26 years...

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok.
But just to be clear, the tenants I had were allowed to have I pet with a 50 dollar pet fee. They asked to have a cat. I agreed to that. A couple of months ago, as I was painting the house, in preparation to sell it. I noticed, two additional cats on the property. I told them they had 10 days to remove the other cats or pay the 50 dollar fee for each cat, and if you did not pay it I would take it out of the security deposit. They chose to have it deducted from the security deposit.
They moved out last Monday and in the course of inspecting the house, there has been damage to carpet.
Talked to the carpet people and they said it would be 150 dollars to patch the holes in the carpet.
So from what you said, there should be no problem then to deduct that cost from the remaining security deposit?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
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.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can you use the security deposit for attorneys fees? As I did consult with one regarding the eviction process and compensation for the renters showing the house.
Expert:  barristerinky replied 1 year ago.

So from what you said, there should be no problem then to deduct that cost from the remaining security deposit?

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Correct.

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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.

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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.

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Can you use the security deposit for attorneys fees?

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No, as I mentioned, you can use it for actual repairs or damages, delinquent rent, cleaning and fees.

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I guess then the only other thing I am wondering is, how detail or specific do you have to get on the itemized list of damages.
Can you simply list for example,Additional pet fee $100.00 dollars
Carpet hole patch and repair $ 150.00 dollars
and leave it that basic? Or does it need to be more detailed?
Expert:  barristerinky replied 1 year ago.

You would state something like "pet fee--- 2 additional pets....$100"

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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.

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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.

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I took some pictures.
Thanks, ***** ***** time.
Expert:  barristerinky replied 1 year ago.

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.

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And you are very welcome..

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thanks

Barrister

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