Can You Charge a Monthly Pet Fee in Alberta?

The rules and regulations for landlords and tenants are laid out in the Alberta Residential Tenancy Act. The rules about security deposits (damage deposits) are discussed clearly, but it is a bit more complex when it comes to pets.

Can you charge a monthly pet fee in Alberta? A landlord can charge pet fees in Alberta. There are 2 different ways to charge these fees. They can be refundable and combined with the security deposit, or non-refundable and handled separately from the security deposit.

Let’s look at each method in more detail.

Refundable Pet Fees

If the landlord chooses to make the pet fees refundable, they must be included as part of the security deposit.

The law states that a security deposit in Alberta may not exceed the amount of 1 month rent.

A pet fee that is refunded to the tenant if their pet does not cause damage, must be combined with the rest of the damage deposit.

Non-Refundable Pet fees

A landlord may decide to have a separate pet fee that is non-refundable. In this case, regular contract law applies.

The landlord and tenant can agree to any pet fee structure of a ”reasonable amount”.

This is explicitly outside of the security deposit and can not be deposited into the trust account where the security deposit money is.

Further Information on Pets and Rentals in Alberta

Here is a wonderful and in depth read about pet rules for tenants and landlords in Alberta.

This is from the Centre for Public Legal Eduction Alberta:

Everything you need to know about pets in Alberta rentals here.

Residential Tenancy Agreements – Fees and Charges

Here is a screenshot of the relevant section from Service Alberta:

Screenshot from servicealberta.gov.ab.ca

In Summary

  • An Alberta Landlord can legally charge pet fees.
  • Pet Fees can be refundable or non-refundable
  • If they are refundable, they must be combined with the security deposit, with the total being no more than the amount of 1 month rent.
  • If they are non-refundable then contract law is in place. A landlord has the right to create a pet policy. The policy can include extra fees and restrictions on types and quantities of pets.