how is there not a link to here
I'd bet they would just raise everyone's rent to make up for it. If I were in Seattle, I'd nix this petition. And I say that as a lifelong pet owner.

@ 1, is your handle taken from the Low album with that title?
Include a provision for summary execution of anyone using the term "pet parent", and I'm on board.
I am not sure that there is pet rent. It seems like places allow pets or don't.
@4 No, it's definitely a thing. I pay $25/month extra because I have a dog, in addition to the $250 non-refundable deposit I paid to move in.
I'm exceedingly curious if "pet rent" is some kind of run around taxes or laws involving rent increases or both.

The idiotic thing is that it decreases the incentive for a tenant to stay long-term. Every kind of "pet rent" I've ever seen vastly exceeded a traditional non-refundable pet deposit after just a few months.


Check out Craigslist ads for apartments to rent. It is absolutely a thing.
Any pet worth its salt can do more than $250 damage in just a few seconds.

You are aware that landlords can charge a tenant for damages? I know several people who were bilked by slumlords in this city for the cost of normal wear and tear, money they had to pay out of pocket after costs were deducted from their deposit.
I moved into an apartment in the midst of the housing surplus when "pet rent" was waived, just a deposit (part non-refundable, part refundable). Eventually pet rent was re-instated and monthly for a cat that doesn't even go outside my apartment. I just hope that upon moveout the landlord adds up all the months of "pet rent" and acknowledges that if there's a few damages/scratches here or there.

If they're going to charge pet rent while not increasing the size/function of the apartment in any appreciable way, they better be using it to acknowledge the accelerated wear and tear that comes with pets and not try to ding it from my standard deposit.

Nope. Landlords can try to get damage costs. But most landlords just make sure the tenant who damaged the place gets their credit dinged, does the repair and gets the place occupied again. No sense spending good money trying to collect from deadbeats with any real effort.

And by slumlord you mean " anyone who managed to do better than me and has a rental unit" I'd guess.

Having said that, pet deposit or just, as I do, say no pets. The pet rent thing is just chiseling people.
and in my post at @9, there was both a regular rental deposit and an additional pet deposit that was about 50% of the amount of the rental deposit. Both deposits were not waived, of course.
@9 and 11,

Even if the city doesn't ban pet rent, it seems like the bare minimum it should do is require landlords to tally up "pet rent" when assessing damages to the unit. Since "pet rent" is operating in a grey area (not officially sanctioned by the government but not expressly illegal), it seems like you'd have a reasonable case in court if your landlord tries to charge you for damages without taking it into account.

Also "a few scratches here and there" is called normal wear and tear, and, if your landlord tries to charge you for that shit, take them to court.
We should ban the term "non-refundable deposit" and call it what it is: a fee.
@ 14 the term non- refundable deposit IS banned, see RCW 59.18.280…
This sounds like a "problem" best left to the free market. Modern urbanists don't want landlords to offer free parking for tenant automobiles, why should we want them to offer free rent for pets?
What really pisses me off is the 'pet deposit.' Have a pet? That's an extra 300 to 500 bucks on your down payment. WHY?
#10 the 'damage costs' should already coming from your damage deposit. If the little blighter does any 'damage' that will come from the initial deposit, in my opinion. I have always thought that charging people extra for their companions was a dick move.
Landlords can do whatever they want when you rent the apartment, as long as it's in the rental/lease agreement, and they know it. I've seen nonrefundable cat fees of $300. For a cat, which doesn't bark or have to be walked through the common areas.
Renters without pets shouldn't subsidize people who have pets but can't pay their own way. If you eliminate extra fees for pet owners, the costs get passed on to all renters, some of whom would like a dog but they're responsible enough to wait until they have the resources to meet the responsibility.
Pet rent is just bullshit extortion from people with pets. They don't charge additional rent for additional people, and people (especially children) can and often do cause just as much damage as pets. And sometimes pets cause none - I've been in this apartment for 2 years and I can't point to a single thing my cats have messed up in any way.

I would never rent from any place that charges pet rent.
Some commenters have mentioned that owners can already claim for pet damages. But pets definitely add considerably to wear and tear. If you owned your own home, you would be spending a not insignificant amount more on upkeep (ie: replacing floors/paint/everything on a quicker timeline). Going to court after each tenant leaves to try to argue that accelerated wear and tear isn't the "normal wear and tear" cited in the Landlord/Tenant laws is a waste of all sorts of resources. It's totally reasonable for a landlord to recognize that pets come with a cost associated with them (and an ongoing one that a deposit doesn't take into account). And it seems totally unreasonable for tenants to not recognize the real costs of owning a pet. I say this as the ecstatic owner of an angelic lab that does nothing bad ever and costs no one anything ever including never peeing in the heater vent when a puppy. Didn't happen. Also never pokes her head through the blinds and sees a squirrel.
@21: the financial damage your cats caused includes the inability to ever rent to someone that asks, "has a cat ever lived here". Tons of people have that prerequisite...and for good reason.
@20, how are renters without pets subsidizing pet owners? Most pet owners already pay way more in non-refundable fees than their pets (especially cats) cause in damages, which is net profit for the landlord. If anything, pet owners are subsidizing non-pet-owners cheaper rent. Pet rent just makes that even more out of balance.
In addition to pet rent, I think dog owners should have to pay exorbitant taxes to the city and the proceeds dedicated to stormwater treatment. That'd offset all the dogshit running into the stormwater system and make me feel better about all the entitled fuckwits who think it's ok to bring a dog to the fucking farmers market. Or grocery store. Or bus.

Yeah, I'm looking at you stinky krusty punk who mutters "service dog" when he gets on the bus. We all know the score.

Cat owners, however, should get a tax break, because they are better people.
My apartment charges pet rent, but provides a maintained area with wood chips and bags and disposal. And it's $10. I'm not going to stress $10 a month for my dog. I'm sure some places are higher, and some ridiculously so, which probably means there should be some level of regulation. The petitioner needs to make the case this is out of control, rather than just a good thing for animal welfare.

And yeah, Washington and Seattle both have laws about non-refundable deposits. If your lease has anything non-refundable labeled as a deposit, there's probably a law about getting it back, and knowing this states landlord-tenant laws, if you have to use a court to get a deposit back, it is usually in triplicate.
@23, It would be pretty silly for someone to not rent this unit due to a cat allergy because a cat once lived here. I could see that argument in a place with carpet, but with only hard floors there would be hardly any allergens left behind after a good cleaning. Plus if you have an allergy that bad, there are plenty of rentals that don't allow pets at all.
@25, the bus allows dogs. Full stop. STFU. Sound Transit wants them in a carrier. Metro just wants a leash.

I'm also unaware that farmers markets don't allow dogs. They are outside, on the sidewalk or a park, you know, where people have dogs on the regular?

I've been over this on SLOG before, my dog goes everywhere. Including grocery shopping. She fits in a carry purse, you don't know she is there, so go whine somewhere else. Last week I watched a snot-nosed kid unleash a torrential sneeze fest over an open air egg display, but you want to complain about a dog in a zipped up purse? DIAF, hater.
Pet "rent" is bullshit.

The only reason landlords do it is to put more dollars in their pockets.

If it weren't illegal to charge extra for children, landlords would do that too.

In Colorado (at least around the area I live in) every apartment charges pet extortion fees. You have no choices to find a place that doesn't, they don't exist.

Fuck capitalist, selfish, greedy landlords.
This is contract law. I've been on both sides of this issue. The bottom line is, there are all sorts of pets, and all sorts of pet and owner behaviors. There are also all sorts of different apartment and yard configurations. To jump to an extreme if you live in a high rise apartment building you really shouldn't expect to own and house a Mastiff Newfoundland mix dog. Both sides need to be reasonable.
Cats are easily more disgusting than dogs, and both types of animals can ruin a carpet, or blinds, or doors, in seconds.

/facepalm for days
@19, and I've seen cats leave a puddle of piss that soaks through the carpet into the wood floor that can never be gotten out. Smelled it, too, years later. Seen them scratch the banister until the whole thing needed to be replaced too. Now, I know your cat would never do such a naughty thing, but there are thousands of people in houses and apartments right now whose satanically possessed animals would in a heartbeat.
$25 to park your car in a 9 ft by 12 ft space. $20/mo in pet rent on top of an additional $250 pet deposit ? While I'll admit it's possible for pets to add to the wear and tear (hence the $250 additional deposit for things that are non-standard) a strong case can be made that the $240 in pet rent I paid each year should be compensation for pet wear-and-tear.
I don't think landlords should be able to charge an extra fee permanently. I do think landlords should be able to charge an extra deposit charge since pets can be hard on a property.
I've looked at rentals where they had to rip out the carpet, the padding, chemically treat the under flooring, repaint, and you could still smell the cat piss.
Only for cats, little shits that they are.
@8 "Last week I watched a snot-nosed kid unleash a torrential sneeze fest over an open air egg display, but you want to complain about a dog in a zipped up purse?"

Your dog is exuding a cloud of allergens, and you're like one of those weird throwbacks who says can't understand why anyone would complain about a little smoking. DIAF, indeed.

Perhaps the funniest thing about your counter-analogy is that most of us had to ponder the odds that you and your purse bound companion caused the attack.

I'm not even a cat person, but your post is comically ridiculous. It's the equivalent of a cat person saying, "I've had a landlord strap me into an electric chair and force me to sign a lease agreeing to pay extortionate pet rent against my will!"

Get real.
How many landlords would institute a no-pets policy if they were not permitted to charge pet rent? Paying the fees is a pain but it's better than having my options reduced to a few buildings in town filled with dogs where the rent is jacked up to compensate.
Fleas are a problem too - someone brings fleas into an apartment building with their pet and guaranteed within a week everyone in that building is infested with fleas.
I've seen apartments that needed to be completely gutted to the studs because of animals and your $10-50 extra a month isn't covering those charges.
It goes both ways. I have been in apartments that made you gag the moment you walked in (disturbing when you can smell the animal but can't find them) and others that are in great condition and oh there's a cat. It's up to the renter to be responsible.
I do not know about pet rent, but i do know that The Stranger needs to ban these shutterstock images that are infecting every post.

I do not know who is forcing you guys to use these inane images, but it makes the place look cheap and generic, and they add nothing.
Wear and tear mofos. @13 just explained why landlords might charge a monthly fee for pets.
@2 yes! i couldn't really think of anything else, but it works at least.
Seems like nobody on SLOG aside from the greedy landlords has ever had to clean up after a pet household that vacated? I've had cats and dogs of my own and the volumes of pet neutralizing cleaners I have gone through is still not enough if you want to get a place clean. We're talking about a professional carpet cleaning after any pet vacates. And not just vomit/accidents, but the invisible dander and hair that accumulate over time. How about the feline habit of face-rubbing? This leaves a build-up of oils on door jambs, steps, etc. Seriously, do none of you understand what it takes to actually clean a place for new occupants?

How about the unseen damage from months/years of urination on sub-floors and trim? Sometimes not even known by the pet owner or landlord, but discovered later as a part of other repairs. We're talking rotting wood that has to be replaced. Unless you find this kind of damage right after someone moves out, you never know who caused it. And do you think it is worthwhile to try to sue someone who was evicted for the damages caused by their pets? The landlord will rarely see that money unless they get the fees upfront.

And dogs, especially big ones, make big messes outside. Doesn't matter if the law says you must clean up poo, not everyone does it. Somebody has to clean it up, and nobody does that for free! How about the doggies who have accidents in (or spray or mark) doorways, common spaces, etc. I've watched dogs pee in elevators, on random people's stuff on the floor, even on passersby! The property owner/manager has to keep that stuff cleaned up. If there are pets around and you never see any evidence, you can be sure someone is doing a good job of cleaning, not that the pets are all perfect and make no messes.

Think of the pet deposit as a move-out cleaning fee. Pet rent depends on the circumstances of the property (carpet or not, yard of poo to be regularly cleaned, etc.)

And I'm not a landlord. But I have friends who are. And I've both had to pay for pet damage and received part of a deposit back after no damage was found. Pets are hard on property, (as are some human occupants). Anyone who thinks otherwise hasn't had clean-up dooty.

In that case, a very large *refundable* pet deposit would make sense. It puts the onus on the tenant not to let a pet fuck up the unit while protecting the landlord if there is pet-caused damage.

In the absence of specific facilities for pets within an apartment building, "pet rent" is nothing but a bullshit fee, I'll bet largely imposed so landlords can jack it up whenever they want without running afoul of the 30-60 day notice of rent increases they're required to give. And $50/month "pet rent" is never going to cover legitimate repairs, which is why, if the city does the absolute minimum, it should impose a requirement that "pet rent" be weighed against damage that has been inflicted on a given rental.

Pet rent depends on the circumstances of the property

And who determines that? I've seen "pet rent" imposed on nice, new, dog-friendly buildings (in which case it makes sense since those buildings often have pet-specific amenities) and on rat-hole affordable units. What are the regulations on how much can be charged for "pet rent", how quickly the fee can be raised, whether the fee can be raised even in the midst of a six/twelve-month lease, what the qualifications are for it, and how that money can be used when the tenant moves out? Oh right, there aren't any, because landlords pulled it out of their asses.
I hadn't heard of pet rent, but I don't live in Seattle. Higher deposits (which are refundable to the extent they aren't used to cover damage) is normal and extremely reasonable. But I don't see why landlords should pick on one particular group of people and charge them extra for using their dwelling. And I've lived both with and without pets and never even had a landlord claim the entire deposit got used up, despite living with cats. When we move out of our current place, yes, the carpet will need to be replaced (cancer in cats can lead to some serious problems for both the cat and the carpets), but we've been here several years and the carpet was not new when we moved in, so it'll probably be past its life expectancy anyway. But if the cat trashed newer carpets and then we left, of course I'd expect the cost of replacing them to come out of the deposit, and if it cost more than the deposit, I'd expect to be billed. This system seems to work just fine. And I really don't see why pets are paying extra rent. It makes as much sense to me as any other lifestyle extra in rent. I'm nocturnal (delayed sleep phase syndrome), would it be okay to charge me extra rent each month for being a night owl? That could theoretically cause some extra annoyance for my neighbors (although they sometimes also cause me extra annoyance with early morning sounds, which I just suck up and accept). Nobody has complained in a way I've ever been made aware of, but still, would extra rent for night-shifted people be acceptable because it sometimes is an issue? What other wacky lifestyle choices can you think of to start charging extra rent for? What if I were into making pottery. I bet that'd create some increased risk for extra damaged. Should there be an extra rent each month for crafty hobbyists? What about someone who is really into using candles for lighting? That clearly poses an extra risk. Should we have a cliche-romance rent?
Why so hostile toward landlords? While I know there are plenty who fit the bill, they're not ALL evil, greedy slumlords. I've known scores of people over the years who bought a home, and lived in it for a few years. Then they decided to buy a bigger home, and rented out the first rather than selling. Many landlords only own a handful of properties (maybe only 1 rental) on the side and work a full time normal job.

I've had pets since I left home for college, and I've lived in 3 states and many, many zip codes. I always selected my residence based on what I thought were reasonable requirements. If an apartment required an enormous non-refundable pet fee plus monthly pet rent, that unit fell off my list of considerations. If the property had what I thought were unreasonable fees, I assumed the management would not be very reasonable in other regards.

Several of my zip codes were in the Denver area and the pet fees there were the highest I have seen. Part of it is because EVERYBODY in Colorado has a dog, and many dog-owners are not very responsible. Landlords advertise high pet fees in the hopes of weeding out the less responsible owners and maybe deterring pet owners from applying altogether... only someone who really wants to have their dog will pay the fees. And the person willing to pay a high deposit probably has confidence they will not be causing damage and losing the deposit.

@ 47 - Fees are typically negotiated in the lease terms and not subject to random increases at the landlord's whim. Get it in writing.

@ 48 - Pet fees are assessed on something that is causing additional wear and tear on the property. Someone with night-shift hours is only living on a different schedule, not adding more wear and tear than others. I have seen additional fees assessed when the number of occupants exceeds a certain number. More people means more wear and tear, especially when some utilities or services are included in the base rent.
It's just another way for landlords to get more money. When I moved with my senior cat into a new apartment in the Lake Union area I had to pay a $300 non-refundable fee for the cat plus an additional $80 per month for 'pet rent'. My cat died three months into my living there, but I still had to continue to pay that extra $80 bucks a month for the rest of my lease, even though I did not have an animal. My landlord told me if I got another cat I would have to pay an additional $300 non-refundable pet fee, as the money I paid when I moved only "covered" the animal I moved in with. As soon as the lease was up on that apartment I moved.

>but you want to complain about a dog in a zipped up purse

>dog in a zipped up purse


>in a zipped up purse

Looks like your dog is the one that's going to "die in a fire".
I'm cool with charging pet owners for damage that their pets actually cause—take it out of the deposit just like damage from all other causes—but charging for hypothetical damage that they might cause is wrong. Most cats scratch woodwork, but some don't (and others have trimmed claws). Some dogs shed more than others.
I'm a dog owner and Humane Society volunteer, the truth is that even the best pets cause damage. When they are puppies or seniors they sometimes go in the house.
Even dogs with excellent house training sometimes get sick on the carpet. They chew, they crash into things, shit happens. Pet rent allows landlords to be more open to accepting pets without it costing them. If you ban it, you might get more landlords banning pets altogether, or bigger non refundable deposits for rent (image one to cover the whole life of the pet), or the landlord decides to just add the pet rent to everyone, even tenants without pets. Personally, I encourage anyone who's considering getting a pet to wait if they are living paycheck to paycheck. There are many hidden costs associated with a pet and you might be better off to get your puppy/kitty time volunteering for a shelter or pet sitting / fostering.
I am of the dreaded, rapacious, cruel LANDLORD caste. It is a business that provides goods or services like any other business. This means costs, income, and hopefully a bit of profit on a very large investment. Bottom line: pets do a lot of damage and cause a lot of extra wear. (Dogs, not so bad usually, cats, almost always really bad). I have had to tear out 2 floors of relatively new cat urine soaked carpet and pad from a "perfectly behaved" cat. (I'm talkin' you, Julie S. you low-life). The place still has a slight stink in humid weather years later. All pet rent and pet fees mean is that you pay more of the cost for your choice. If those rents/ fees are banned, the cost will just be spread to non-pet owners. How that is fair is not at all clear to me.
People! chill out. a dog or cat does wear&tear on a place that humans don't. and they have fur&dander that humans don't. and they smell. and i know cuz i have one of each. so pay a fee if you want a pet. or live in the country. or don't have pets. and don't tell me you're adopting these until the rest of the excess animals can find homes. they never will. there's too many. yes, they will die. pick your battles, but don't pick "pet rent", Seattle, it makes us look like wah-wah dopes.
Anyone who has had to go in and clean and repair property after an irresponsible pet owner has allowed Fido or FeFe to pee, poop, spray, scratch floors and doors, etc., knows that pet rent is not unreasonable. The smell of cat pee is almost impossible to eradicate since it permeates into the wood subfloor in some cases. I had one renter who decided to feed all of the feral cats in the neighborhood, and installed a pet door to allow them to come and go at will. The dozens of cats would spray the entry door, causing a tremendous stink, and rotted the door necessitating its replacement. Oh, this renter also removed the crawlspace cover so that the feral cats would have a place to get in out of the rain. Any inspector, plumber, or electrician that has to go under that house has to deal with the piles of cat poop. Nice.

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