Tenants deal with a number of frustrations when renting, like the “landlord special” or seemingly ridiculous and unfair fees. One fee that has recently sparked discussion is the pet deposit. In a now-viral video, TikTok user Ryss (@kmoney.02) shows the unique way they avoided getting charged with the fee during their apartment inspection.
@kmoney.02 lmaooo fuccc the fee 🖕🏽 #lmao #funny #pets #petsoftiktok #gay #lesbiancouple #leasing #lgbt #fyp #foryou #foryoupage #lesbiana #hispanic #greenscreen #lesbiantiktoks ♬ original sound – Juan Franqui
“When ur leasing agent says it’s inspection time but u didn’t pay the deposit,” Ryss writes in an on-screen caption. In the clip, the TikToker records their kitchen cabinet as scurrying sounds can be heard emanating from somewhere in the room. Towards the end of the clip, Ryss opens the cabinet to reveal the source of the sound: a small white dog nestled on one of the shelves. Laughter can be heard off-camera as the dog pokes its head out of the cabinet, and the clip comes to an end.
A number of viewers found the clip humorous, like one person who remarked that the dog was “peaking” out of the cabinet as if to check whether the inspector had gone.
Someone else quipped that this hack wouldn’t work for them, however: “My dog would be in there hollering lol.”
One viewer devised their own plan for dealing with inspections: simply leave their apartment with their pet in tow when the inspector is set to arrive. “I take mine and leave for the day when they do inspections,” they wrote.
Another was shocked that the TikToker’s pet was so well-mannered, even hinting that the dog may have known that silence was key: “They knew the assignment. Now if mines would stop barking.”
Other viewers in similar situations said they did nothing at all. “My dog was a puppy and I didn’t know what to do so I just pretended like he was supposed to be there and acted normal and they didn’t notice,” one commented.
But someone else didn’t think that pet deposits were that big of a deal, stating that they’ve not once jeopardized their security deposit, either, for having a pet inside of their rental unit: “in the 8 years I have had my dog I have never paid a pet deposit. and still got my security deposit back whenever I left smh.”
Many TikTokers have uploaded clips lambasting their landlords over pet deposit fees. While it’s understandable that a property owner would want to ensure they’re protected against any damage a pet could wreak on the homes they lease, some pet rental fees seem a bit ridiculous—like the $200 fee one woman was charged for keeping a goldfish in her apartment.
According to Rocket Lawyer, no federal law stipulates that property owners cannot charge tenants more money to keep pets in their homes. Nolo writes, however, that statutes pertaining to pet rent and fees vary across the country: “Landlords who allow pets sometimes require tenants to pay a separate deposit to cover any damages caused by the pet. In some states this is legal; in others, it’s not.”
Still, the legal resource continued to say that there are clear instances where tenants cannot be charged for keeping an animal in their home, and landlords can find themselves in big trouble if they try to finagle money from their renters in these instances. For example, the outlet writes: “Regardless of state law, under federal law, landlords may never charge a pet fee or deposit to disabled tenants who have a service or assistance animal.”
The Daily Dot contacted Ryss via TikTok comment for further information.