What Is It?

A white woman with a pug thinking about getting two cats.Seattle has rules about what a landlord can charge a renter to keep a pet. Property owners can charge renters a pet damage deposit. Seattle does not allow non-refundable pet fees. A landlord can charge pet rent.

What It Isn’t

Service animals are not considered pets. Property owners cannot refuse to accept a renter because they have a service animal, nor can they charge a pet damage deposit for a service animal. Service animals assist people with disabilities to deal with the effects of their disabilities. The most common service animals are dogs, but they may be other species (cats, birds, hamsters, etc.). Service animals may be any breed, size, or weight. Service animals are not required to have special licenses, to be certified by any government or training agency, or to have any visible identification.

Rules to Follow

  • The pet damage deposit cannot exceed 25 percent of the first full month's rent.
  • Only one pet deposit may be held per household, no matter how many pets are kept. Landlords may limit the number of pets allowed.
  • The pet damage deposit must be written into the rental agreement.
  • The renter may pay the pet damage deposit in three consecutive, equal monthly installments that begin when the pet begins living in the rental unit, or the tenant and landlord may agree to an alternative payment schedule.

Read the Code