Is it legal for my landlord to ask for a non refundable deposit? 4 Answers as of April 16, 2014

I moved into an apartment which was a nightmare from the beginning. I do have pets. My rental agreement was a $250.00 non-refundable deposit and a $500.00 refundable deposit. I agreed to this at the time, then later was told it may not be legal in my state to charge a non-refundable deposit. If the place was not filthy when I moved in and in working order then this would seem somewhat reasonable but like I said it's been a nightmare, and having them keep $250.00 for my well behaved pets in a place that was dirty and damaged upon move in seems absurd. Just wondering if what they are doing is legal. Thanks.

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Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
I'm not sure about your state, but generally in most states the landlord and tenant can agree to whatever they wish. It is certainly not unusual to have an additional charge if a tenant is planning on having pets in the residence.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 4/16/2014
James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C.
James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C. | James T. Weiner
A non refundable payment for allowing pets is skirting the issue but probably ok in Michigan.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 4/16/2014
Dessy & Dessy, a Professional Corporation | Ronald D. Dessy
A non-refundable deposit in connection with a residential rental agreement is illegal. Here is a link to the court case addressing that issue. http://leagle.com/decision/197584245CalApp3d797_1770.xml/BAUMAN%20v.%20ISLAY%20INVESTMENTS
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/16/2014
Law Office of Jack Longert, LLC | Jack Longert
In Wisconsin, a security deposit must be refundable if no further damage beyond normal wear and tear is done to the apartment. There are specific rules which govern the return, check out the statute or speak to an attorney or housing counselor in your area.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 4/16/2014
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