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Is a pet deposit legal in MA? - Landlord Forum thread 189213

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Is a pet deposit legal in MA? by Newstudent (MA) on October 13, 2009 @13:16

I am in the process of accepting applicants for a rental. Many people are willing to pay a pet deposit so that I will accept there pet. I have been told that it is not legal to accept a “pet deposit” that security deposit and last months are the only deposits legal to accept in MA. My research is not clear on this “pet deposit”, so I am once again counting on the advice of this GREAT forum.
Thanks in advance.
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Re: Is a pet deposit legal in MA? by MassLL (MA) on October 13, 2009 @14:17 [ Reply ]
No, its not legal. You can only charge for 1st, last, and security (equal to no more than one months rent). You can also charge to the purchase and installation of new locks for the unit.

Search this forum comments and advice for renting to people with dogs.

Things you can do is to call animal control in the town where they currently live and find out if there have been any issues with the dog/owners. Go to where they live and check that property for unpicked up poop (doesn't mean its their dog) and ask the nieghbors if any issues. ask for documentation as to vaccinations and breed. Make sure your homeowners insusrnce covers that breed. Require they get renters insurace before they move in.

Write up a pet contract. Include whether or not the dog is allowed on your lawn.

Re: Is a pet deposit legal in MA? by Ed (MN) on October 13, 2009 @23:48 [ Reply ]
Call it pet RENT, not a deposit. A deposit, even a non-refundable deposit, is still a deposit and has to be returned if there are no damages.

Rent is just that, rent. It can be a one-time rent payment, same as a deposit.

Re: Is a pet deposit legal in MA? by Anonymous on October 14, 2009 @23:37 [ Reply ]
There is no kind of deposit, pet rent or any other charge that will cover the damages of dogs living in your unit.

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