Pet Deposits are Illegal in Massachusetts
By Charles P. Burke
Many apartment owners charge a pet deposit to their tenants.
This charge is illegal in Massachusetts and a property owner is subject to a 93A
violation or treble/ triple damages for violating the Massachusetts Consumer
The maximum money a residential property owner can charge upfront to a
residential tenant is first months rent, last months rent, up to one for a security
deposit and the cost of a new lock and key.
Any additional upfront fees in addition to these charges are illegal. The courts have
ruled on this several times.
A property owner cannot collect additional fees and disguise by calling them other
names such as cleaning fees, holding fees, application fees etc..
The purpose behind the security deposit is for damages incurred by a tenant.
If a tenant had a pet and Fido or Fluffy damaged a floor, wall etc. then the property
owner would need to supply evidence indicating the damage and the cost to repair
and deduct it from the security deposit when the tenant departs the premise.
Charles P. Burke is the owner of the Massachusetts Academy of Real Estate which is
the premier school in Massachusetts to obtain a Massachusetts Real Estate License.
It is important to attend a school that will teach prospective agents the proper laws
in order to successfully practice real estate in Massachusetts.
If you are looking to obtain a Massachusetts real estate license contact
the Massachusetts Academy of Real Estate at 781-848-1404 or view us at