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Can i get my pet deposit/ fee back if it states its non refundable AND says it is to be used towards pet damages?

Sacramento, CA |

so here the deal the pet agreement line 5 states "as a non refundable pet fee resident agrees to pay the amount of $300( payment of which is hereby acknowledged). owner may use such amount a reasonably necessary to take care of any damages or cleaning caused by or in connection to said pet"

my apartment complex did not account my 300 pet fee into the final statement, and is trying to say i don't get it back as it says non refundable. but all i want is for them to use them for the carpet damages, which are $342. i understand not getting it back if there were no pet damages but there were.i wrote a formal dispute letter and sent a money order payment of what is due minus the $300 . but i feel they are going to bully me into paying by damaging my credit with collections.

this apartment was rented in Tulsa Oklahoma. the property management is in San Diego ca, and i live in Sacramento ca now.

Attorney Answers 2


The pet agreement is pretty vague, and it may not even be enforceable. Your landlord can charge you extra rent for a pet, and it can charge you extra deposit based on that extra rent, but it cannot charge you a nonrefundable fee. Generally, the phrase "reasonably necessary" means from an objective viewpoint. If a stranger would reasonably believe that your pet damaged the carpet, then the landlord must use the pet deposit for that.

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You need an attorney in Oklahoma, not California.

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