My furry pal and I are relocating to a new apartment in Tampa. What is the difference between paying a pet deposit and a pet fee?

Photo of St. Charles Row ApartmentsIf you are looking for an apartment in St. Pete, St. Charles Row is pet friendly and has a fantastic location.

There are a lot of considerations to make when searching for a new, pet-friendly apartment in Tampa. Finding a safe place for your dog to run outside and making sure your cats have plenty of sunshine and a windowsill to nap on can be challenging. Aside from choosing an apartment that best fits your pet's needs, it's important to consider how living with your furry friend may affect your budget. One important aspect of renting with pets is understanding the distinction between paying a pet deposit and a pet fee. While the difference may seem inconsequential at first, the amount of money you pay every month can vary greatly depending on your situation.

Paying a Pet Deposit

A pet deposit is typically a one-time payment that is tacked onto your regular apartment deposit upon move-in. The amount can be based on how many pets you have, but it can also be a flat rate. This special deposit ensures the landlord is covered and able to repair any damage your pet may cause, such as carpet stains, chewed/scratched molding, etc. Most pet deposits are refundable, as long as your pet doesn't cause any damage or changes to the odor of the apartment. If the apartment community uses your deposit for cleaning fees, you must understand that this is to prevent the next tenants from potential allergy issues or unsightly damage. Don't fret though, your standard deposit is always refundable assuming the apartment is not damaged when you leave.

Paying a Pet Fee                     

Several Tampa apartments require a fee, per pet, on a monthly basis. This could be anywhere from $10 to $30 a month per pet. Unlike pet deposits, pet fees are non-refundable – so expect that any money you pay in fees won't be returned to you. In addition, most apartments that require a pet fee also require a pet deposit. Having a monthly pet fee covers the costs of maintaining outdoor areas such as dog parks and nature trails as well.

If you're nervous about renting an apartment with a pet, or if you're having trouble finding an apartment that will accept your animal, the Humane Society has wonderful resources on their website that you can use to aid your search. They suggest things such as making a resume for your dog to submit to the rental agency, what could be cuter than that!

Overall, finding a pet friendly apartment in Tampa can be relatively easy when compared to other cities. Once the deposit is taken care of, there are additional amenities to consider for you and your pet that can have a big impact on their happiness. For example, having an apartment with a balcony can give your dog or cat a place to sit and enjoy a bit of fresh air and sunshine. Furthermore, if your pet tends to have issues with anxiety and needs a quiet room to relax, having a two-bedroom apartment will give them the extra space they need. Almost every single apartment community will require payment for your pets in one form or another, so don't stress too much about the additional cost; it's worth having a furry friend around!

These are the opinions of writers and not the opinions of RentTampaBay.com or any of our advertising partners.