Friday, July 19, 2013

New law will allow collection of Pet Deposits

Senate Bill 328

In July, Governor Neil Abercrombie signed a bill that will allow for landlords to collect a separate Pet Deposit in addition to the standard security deposit for all leases starting November 1, 2013 or later. 

In the past, landlords were only allowed to collect a Security Deposit up to the amount of one month's rent and no more - any additional deposits were illegal to collect. 

In this new law, it will allow landlords to collect a deposit for a pet for any damages they may cause with the following guidelines:

  • "Pets Only" - you may NOT collect a "Pet Deposit" for assistance animals that are assigned to people with a dissability.
  • Limit - the Pet Deposit cannot exceed the amount of one month's rent.
  • Start Date - only affects leases starting on or after November 1, 2013.
  • Refund - if there are no damages to the property from the pet, the deposit must be returned in full to the tenant - similar to how you would treat a Security Deposit.
This will hopefully give an incentive to home owners to allow pets more often for their rentals, knowing that a Pet Deposit will encourage pet owners to be responsible. 

Amanda Frazier, RA
Property Manager and head of Government Affairs Committee for National Association of Residential Property Managers, Oahu Chapter