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General Dog Info

Renting with Pets? Here’s How to Get Your Security Deposit Back

Living with pets can be life-changing, but it also comes with added responsibilities – especially when you’re renting. As a pet owner, you want to make sure that your furry friends are happy while also keeping your home in good condition. Because of this, one of the main concerns pet-owning renters might have is losing their security deposit. Landlords often view pets as potential risks for property damage and may be reluctant to hand your deposit back or even let pets into the property at all.

However, the good news is that, with the right approach, you can enjoy renting with your pet and still get your security deposit back when you move out. Here’s how.

Start with a Pet Agreement

Before you move in, make sure you have a clear pet agreement or addendum to your lease. This document should outline the landlord’s pet policies, including any pet fees or deposits and specific rules for pet care. Understanding these terms is important as they set the expectations you’re expected to follow.

Choose Pet-Friendly Accommodations

When looking for rental properties, focus on those that are explicitly pet-friendly. These landlords are more accustomed to dealing with pets and may have policies and facilities that cater to them, such as pet waste stations or fenced yards. This reduces the likelihood of misunderstandings and often means the property is better suited to handle your furry friend.

SpareRoom is a property and roommate-finding service that lets you filter based on your requirements. Find pet-friendly rooms and roommates in a location near you, whether you’re in the heart of Los Angeles or residing in the Big Apple.

Document the Condition of the Property

When you move in, don’t forget to inspect your rental property. Take photos and videos of any existing damages or issues and document them in a written report with dates. This initial walkthrough will protect you from being held responsible for pre-existing problems when you move out.

Train Your Pet

A well-trained pet is less likely to cause damage. Basic obedience training can prevent common issues such as scratching, chewing, or accidents inside the home. If your pet isn’t already trained, consider investing time into teaching them, attending classes, or hiring a professional trainer.

Pet-Proof Your Home

There’s a lot you can do to pet-proof your rental and minimize damage. Use gates to restrict your pet’s access to certain areas and cover furniture or floors with pet-friendly materials. For example, placing rugs or mats down can protect wooden or laminated flooring. If your pet likes to scratch the furniture, purchase a few scratching posts or mats to place around your home.

Clean Regularly and Thoroughly

Regular cleaning will keep your rental property in good condition, whether you have pets or not. However, it’s more important than ever to stay on top of your chores when a furry companion is sharing your home. Here’s how:

  • Sweep and vacuum daily to remove pet hair and dander.
  • Use a lint roller on furniture and curtains.
  • Clean up accidents immediately.
  • Use enzyme-based cleaners to neutralize pet urine and eliminate odors.
  • Schedule a deep clean every few months. Shampoo carpets, wash pet bedding, and clean air vents and filters to reduce allergens.

Manage Odors

Pet odors can linger and affect the smell of the property. Here are a few things you can do to keep your home smelling fresh:

  • Open windows regularly to air out the space.
  • Consider using air purifiers or dehumidifiers to improve air quality.
  • Use natural deodorizers such as baking soda on carpets and furniture to absorb odors.
  • Try essential oil diffusers with pet-safe oils.

Repair Any Damage Promptly

Accidents happen, and our furry friends can cause unintentional damage. If your pet damages something, fix it as soon as possible. Patch up scratched walls, replace chewed furniture, and fill in dug-up holes in the yard. Taking care of repairs quickly will prevent them from getting worse.

Communicate with Your Landlord

If your pet causes damage, let your landlord know and discuss how you plan to address it before the end of your lease. Being open and honest can build trust and help you avoid disputes when you move out.

Schedule Regular Vet Visits

A healthy pet is less likely to cause problems. Regular vet visits will keep your pet in good health. Up-to-date vaccinations and flea treatments can prevent infestations that might damage the property. Keep records of your pet’s health care, as some landlords might request this information.

Prepare for Moving Out

As your lease comes to an end, start preparing early to ensure you leave the property in good condition:

  • Conduct a thorough inspection similar to the one you did when you moved in. Compare the current condition with the initial report and address any discrepancies.
  • Consider hiring professional cleaners, especially for carpets and upholstery, to remove any traces of pet hair, stains, or odors.
  • Make sure all pet-related damage is fixed. Touch up paint, fill holes, and replace any damaged fixtures.

Arrange a final walkthrough with your landlord before moving out. This will give you a chance to discuss issues and agree on any final touches. Keep your initial inspection report and documentation handy to resolve any disputes about the property’s condition.

Follow Up After Moving Out

After you’ve moved out, follow up with your landlord regarding the return of your security deposit. In some areas, landlords are required to provide an itemized list of deductions if they withhold any part of your deposit. If any deductions seem unreasonable, you can discuss them or seek mediation.


Renting with pets doesn’t have to jeopardize your security deposit. By choosing the right accommodation, maintaining open communication, and committing to cleanliness, you can enjoy renting with your pet. Following our guide not only helps you secure the return of your deposit but also builds a positive relationship with your landlord, making your rental experience smoother for both you and your pet.