The Pet Penalty

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I’d never paid such a large deposit for an apartment before, but this was the requirement for the “luxury apartment” I rented upon moving to Houston.  It was because I was the owner of two golden-brown tabby cats.  The “pet deposit” was $250 per cat, plus there was a non-refundable “pet fee” of $250, simply for owning one.  This was in addition to the usual security deposit of $250.  On top of this, you paid a monthly “pet rent” of $10 per cat.  I agreed to all this, there being few alternatives.  Based on my previous experience as a renter, I expected that most or all of my deposit would be refunded.

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