real estate

Please lease me: 7 tips for renters

Don't pay double for pets
Don't pay double for pets

Renters with pets customarily have had to pay deposits for dogs and cats. Some landlords charge monthly fees for each animal. Pet rent typically runs about $25 per month, but in some markets, renters shell out $100 or more. Still, savvy renters don't pay both fees, says Jennifer Chiongbian, an associate broker with Charles Rutenberg Realty in New York City.

"I would keep looking if the landlords are getting you on both ends," Chiongbian says. "It should be either a deposit or rent, not both."

If the landlord insists on a deposit or rent for the family pet, Chiongbian advises prospective tenants to negotiate. Just keep in mind that the landlord has the upper hand in a tight real estate market and can afford to say no.

"But it doesn't hurt to ask," says Chiongbian, who adds that, "negotiating with a smaller landlord usually has more of a positive outcome."

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