Phil Querin Q&A: Pet Rent

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Phil Querin

Pet Rent

Question:  Is it permissible to charge a tenant rent for their pet? 

Answer.  No. There are many reasons for this answer:

 

The term “rent” is defined in ORS 90.100(37) as “…any payment to be made to the landlord under the rental agreement, periodic or otherwise, in exchange for the right of a tenant and any permitted petto occupy a dwelling unit to the exclusion of others and to use the premises.” Ergo,  rent already includes the tenant’s pet. You cannot charge twice for Fido.

 

Secondly, ORS 90.302 provides that landlords may charge certain “fees”; one of them is for violation of a written pet agreement or of a rule relating to pets in a facility, pursuant to ORS 90.530.

 

Here is a summary of ORS 90.530:

· A landlord may not charge a one-time, monthly or other periodic amount based on the tenant’s possession of a pet; 

· A landlord may provide written rules regarding control, sanitation, number, type and size of pets. 

· The landlord may require the tenant to sign a pet agreement and to provide proof of liability insurance. 

· The landlord may require the tenant to make the landlord a co-insured for the purpose of receiving notice in the case of cancellation of the insurance.

· A landlord may charge a tenant an amount for a violation of a written pet agreement or rules relating to pets not to exceed $50 for each violation

 

Landlords may also charge tenants a security deposit for their pets. See, ORS 90.300. However, alandlord may notcharge a tenant a pet security deposit for keeping a service animal or companion animal that a tenant with a disability requires as a reasonable accommodation under fair housing laws.

 

So, while landlords may not charge a separate amount for “pet rent”, the Oregon Legislature has built in several protections for landlords where their tenant(s) have pets.  

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