Are Pet Deposits Legal in California

California Civil Code Section 1950.5 dictates how all deposits are to be handled by state owners. Under this Act, „security“ includes any payments, fees, deposits or charges that are levied at the beginning of the tenancy and can be used to reimburse the landlord for any costs associated with the treatment of a new tenant, an advance payment of rent or, if the tenant is in default of rent, to repair damage to the premises beyond normal wear and tear. and to clean the premises after the termination of the rental. It is clear that a deposit or pet fee paid before or at the time of moving in is a guarantee. If an owner chooses to allow pets, California law allows them to choose which animals to allow and which to reject. Your landlord can legally choose to allow cats and not dogs. It may also specify that certain breeds of dogs are not allowed. Weight restrictions are also legal and ask your landlord to explain that pets should weigh less than a certain weight such as 20 or 30 pounds. California law also requires that deposits and pet deposits are always refundable. Your landlord may ask you for a pet deposit, but they can`t make these fees non-refundable. If your pet doesn`t damage your rental unit, your landlord will have to refund your deposit when you move.

If your pet caused $50 worth of damage to the property and your pet deposit was $200, your landlord will have to refund $150 of your deposit. Legally, owners can charge a pet deposit, pet rental, or pet fee for non-service animals. Note that the deposit for pets, as well as all other deposits due at the time of signing the rental agreement, must not exceed the rent of two months (three months for furnished apartments). In addition, deposits are considered refundable under California Civil Code Section 1950.5, but are subject to deductions for pet-related repairs and cleanings. Pets/non-refundable deposits are illegal in California. However, the Golden State imposes certain restrictions on the amount of this pet deposit. The pet deposit, which is added to all other types of deposits required at the time of signing the rental agreement – such as.B. the deposit – can not exceed the total amount of two months` rent. This pet deposit is a one-time fee.

Note: State laws can always change through the passage of new laws, decisions of higher courts (including federal decisions), voting initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most up-to-date information available, please contact a lawyer or conduct your own legal research to review the state laws you have studied. The best way to treat unauthorized pets with full legal protection is to include a clearly defined pet policy in each rental agreement. The Pet Policy section should include pet ownership rules as well as a predetermined procedure in the event that an unauthorized animal is discovered on the premises. In addition to the forbidden pets kept on the property, any pet that is not properly registered to avoid additional charges is an unauthorized animal and can be treated using the same procedure. Owners may require the tenant to submit official pet information such as breed, weight, and current vaccinations to confirm that the pet complies with pet guidelines. If you`re looking for a place where your cat or dog is allowed, you may be willing to pay a little more or make sacrifices in terms of size and location. However, you should not be willing to sacrifice your rights. If you`re considering a new lease or moving from your current location, you`re familiar with California pet deposit law to make sure you`re treated fairly.

If your landlord tries to charge too high a deposit or says your pet fee is non-refundable, contact Brod Law Firm today at (800) 427-7020. A freelance writer and small business owner with a decade of experience, Dan has contributed legal and financial content from a variety of sources including Chron, Fortune,, Motley Fool, and MSN Money. Owners in California have the option to enforce their own pet policy with certain restrictions. It is perfectly legal to completely ban pets in rental property, to ban certain types of pets and breeds, or to apply size restrictions. In the vernacular, owners choose pet policies that only allow cats and dogs below a certain weight, or prohibit certain species that are more likely to be aggressive or cause property damage. Owners also have the option to revoke the residence of an individual pet if they can reasonably determine that the pet poses a threat to the safety of other tenants or the property. .