Pet Fees, Pet Rent, Interviews–Oh My!


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You’re a seasoned pet parent – you know exactly what they need, what they’re thinking, and how to handle their shenanigans. Surprisingly, that’s what apartments want to know sometimes, too! Our friends over at Smart City Apartment Locating shed a little light on pet interviews, fees and what to expect when you’re expecting (to move with a dog)!

White Shitzu Sitting on Chair
Pet Interview…Huh?

You read that right! Some apartments require a pet interview prior to moving in. Don’t panic – it’s not super common, but it does happen. The property typically just wants to see that your dog follows simple commands and can be amiable with other dogs and their owners. When you’re completing an application, your apartment locator or the property themselves will disclose any breed restrictions, or minimum age and weight limits, so a pet interview isn’t leveraged to approve or disapprove your dog as part of your application. It’s more so a secondary precaution to ensure leased units with pets will incur little to zero damage throughout the lease term, and that all property pets get along, for the most part.

Brown Labrador on bed
Fees, Deposits and Pet Rent (Yes, Pet Rent.)

We don’t know about you guys, but the first time we moved to an apartment property, we were a little taken aback at the thought of paying pet rent on top of actual rent; like, what? My dog can’t keep a job! Don’t worry, it’s actually extremely common for properties to require pet owners to pay fees and rent. Occasionally properties have specials that waive these fees, but typically a dog owner moving into an apartment property can expect to pay a pet fee (non-refundable), deposit (refundable most of the time unless it’s a sure deposit) and monthly pet rent. Fee averages at popular properties in Houston are between $250-$300, but can range up to $500 depending on the property. Deposit averages typically linger around $250 in Houston and average pet rent stays pretty much between $15-20 per pet, per month. Fees and deposits can be per pet or per household – it’s all left to the discretion of the property you’re applying to. Last but not least, and very sparingly, properties will sometimes charge a fee for doggie DNA testing. Bottom line: if you’re moving with a pet, have a little extra cash saved up so those upfront costs aren’t a total shock to your bank account. 

Breed, Minimum Age/Weight Restrictions, and Household Limits

Most properties set parameters for the types of dogs they allow. The most common are breed restrictions. These can vary from property to property, but typically restrictions are centered around any breed classified as “aggressive.” Properties generally couple that with a weight limit of about 75-99 pounds and a household limit of two pets per unit. Every now and again you’ll come across a property that also requires your dog(s) to be more than a year old, but that’s not as common in Houston. Rest assured, there are hidden gems around town that don’t have these types of parameters and Smart City knows all about those! 

Moving with a dog can take a lot of pawing and planning, but you don’t have to do it all by yourself. Click here and let a Smart City agent do the digging for you (for free–yes, FREE)!

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