Apartment Pet Fee?

Apartment Pet Fee?

I feel like my husband and I are being taken advantage of, and I'd love to get some outside opinions. We are talking to some landlords about renting out their 4 bedroom apartment in the first floor of a 3 floor house. We viewed the apartment a week ago and they showed us the first floor and the second floor. When we were honest and spoke to them about our pets, the property manager brushed us toward another house to show us a 3 bedroom (older) house that wasn't in good shape. We have 4 cats, ferret, hamster, hedgehog, fish, turtle, tarantula. We also have good references from at least 2 landlords each that our cats are well behaved. All other animals are in cages. I spoke with the owner of the apartment and she seemed to be alright with the animals, even though they didn't like the large number that we have. They are asking us for a pet fee of 50 dollars extra a month. That would be 600 dollars a year that we would not get back, even if our cats don't damage the apartment. Our animals haven't caused any damage before. The lease also states that we have to pay for the apartment to be professionally steam cleaned, this could be taken out of our security deposit, or paid out of pocket. But the fee wouldn't cover that. Essentially the property manager said that they are charging us "rent" for the animals we have. I guess this is normal for them, though they usually only charge 300 a year for animals. Is this normal at other places? Edit: Thanks for the input, I didn't know this was so standard. Seems like a rip-off to me, but I guess it could be worse, so I'll keep on the course of getting the lease.
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