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Can a landlord charge a security deposit, non refundable pet deposit, AND monthly additional rent for a pet?

Piscataway, NJ |
Filed under: Landlord-tenant law

I live in an apartment complex and have been charged a normal security deposit prior to moving in. I have decided to get a dog and the complex says it will charge a non refundable $350 pet deposit as well as an additional $50 per month (they are unable to explain what the $50 a month charge is for) pet fee. Now, I completely understand charging a security deposit for a pet, but in reading up on some NJ renters laws, I am under the impression that all security deposits must be returned to renters at the end of the lease (providing that there is no damage other than normal wear). I guess my question is whether or not my complex can legally charge a non-refundable deposit as well as a monthly rental fee for a dog?

Attorney Answers 1

  1. New Jersey allows for non-refundable pet deposits. The security deposit, in total, cannot exceed one and a half times the monthly rent; however, the most additional security money that a landlord can get in any one year is 10 percent of the current deposit. So, for example, if your current security deposit is $100, the most the landlord could get from you for additional security is $10.

    And, yes, the landlord can charge additional rent.

    You should also check with your city or township as sometimes they have additional rules regarding leases and security deposits.

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