It’s fairly common for a landlord to charge an extra fee if someone has a pet. They understand that the pet may cause extra damage to the apartment, and they may have to have it repaired or cleaned when the tenant moves out. The landlord may not deny the pet entirely – some will have no-pet policies in place – but may simply want extra rent or a fee upfront.
This sometimes sparks potential renters to say that they don’t understand why there would be a fee for pets if there’s not a fee for people who have children. The rationale is that they believe that the children are more disruptive in the apartment complex, and they’re more likely to cause damage. Could a landlord use a clause to charge someone more for their children?
This could be a form of discrimination
Landlords need to be very careful with things like this because it is illegal to charge someone more money on their rent just because of the birth of a child. This could lead to discrimination against families or single parents, for example. Everyone deserves to be able to find an affordable place to live and someone should not find that impossible simply because they have kids.
Naturally, if someone simply needs to rent a larger space because of their family, it’s going to cost more. But this is just because of the size of the space. The rent that someone is paying cannot be increased because they have children and they can’t be charged additional fees.
When landlords and tenants end up in a dispute, both sides need to understand their legal options.