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ausambmommy24

Pet deposit

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I have a tenant that moved into my house, signed a rental agreement for all deposits and rent amount. The deposit included a pet deposit for a dog that they have.  They could not afford to pay all the deposit upon move in, so an addendum was added for them to finish paying off the deposit.  They have lived there for a month, and now they are trying to tell me that their dog is a service dog.  They never mentioned that to me before and signed the rental agreement that showed the pet deposit, and they have a pet with no letter.  I know in the state of Oregon one cannot be denied due to a service animal as long as it is for a disability, but the tenant is trying to tell me that they do not have to pay the pet deposit.  supposedly they have a letter, but I have not received it. I need some help with this one please.

thank you

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I know of no law that wouldn't require someone with a service dog to put up a pet deposit if the owner sought one.  (That said, I'm not at all clear on why someone would differentiate between a security deposit and a pet deposit, since in the end a deposit is for the purpose of addressing any physical damages or rent owed if you move out.) 

I'd feel free to issue them a notice to pay up or quit/move and follow up with an eviction.

In future, I'd give the side eye to anyone who couldn't cough up dough upon move-in.  If a newbie landlord, I'd read a few books on the topic, 'cause it only gets more complicated.  Naturally, you need to read OR landlord-tenant statutes and info too.

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Agree with Fallen. A tenant who cannot come up with one month's rent and the full security deposit is a tenant you don't want. Period.

 

You blew it by differentiating between security deposit and pet deposit. Federal law trumps state law and says that a service animal is not a pet. I think that there are also laws that say you can't ask anybody to prove that it's a service animal.

 

If push comes to shove you aren't getting the pet deposit but at the end of the tenancy you can certainly apply the security deposit to any damage caused by the tenant or his animal and you can sue for any damages that the security deposit doesn't cover.

 

Meantime, study the OR landlord tenant statute for your rights and obligations:

 

http://law.justia.com/codes/oregon/2011/vol3/090/

 

PS: If you are a newbie landlord you are in for quite a bruising before you learn the ropes.

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