Why Pet Screening is Always a Good Idea

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Why Pet Screening is Always a Good Idea

Are you a landlord looking for a reliable and hassle-free way to assess whether or not to accept a tenant’s pet into your rental property? Look no further than pet screening! 

As a responsible landlord renting out a unit, you want to ensure that your property is being rented to responsible and trustworthy tenants, and pet screening can help you achieve just that and minimize risks. In this blog post, we will explore why pet screening is always a good idea and how it can benefit you as a landlord.

From protecting your property to ensuring the safety and well-being of your tenants, pet screenings are an important tool in the modern rental landscape. So, let’s dive in and discover why pet screening should be a top priority!

What Exactly is a Pet Screening?

A pet screening is a process for verifying whether a potential tenant’s pet is allowed in a rental property. This involves providing information about the pet, such as its breed, weight, and vaccination history, to the landlord or property manager. The purpose of pet screening is to ensure that the pet is a good fit for the property and does not pose a risk to other tenants or the property itself.

Pet Screening Importance 

As a landlord, a pet screening is important for several reasons:

Protects Property

Pet screening can help protect the property from damage that pets may cause, such as scratches on walls, stains on carpets, or chewing on furniture.

cat scratching at a stool with a leather seat cushion

Ensures Safety 

Screening pets can also help ensure the safety of other tenants in the building. Landlords can identify any aggressive or potentially dangerous pets before they move in and take steps to prevent any harm to people or other animals.

Avoids Legal Issues

Some breeds may not be allowed by local or state laws. By screening pets, landlords can ensure that they are not violating any laws and avoid any legal issues that may arise.

Maintains a Hygienic Environment

Pet screening allows landlords to verify that pets are up to date on vaccinations and free from pests, such as fleas or ticks. This can help maintain a clean and hygienic environment for tenants.

Reduces Liability

By screening pets, landlords can mitigate the risk of incidents involving pets. For instance, if a tenant’s pet causes damage to another tenant’s property, the landlord can show that they took reasonable steps to screen the pet and reduce the risk of such incidents.

The Pet Screening Process

The process of pet screening typically involves the tenant fill out a pet screening application, which may include information about the pet’s breed, age, weight, demeanor, and vaccination history, and then paying a pet screening fee, which may vary depending on the screening company or landlord’s policy.

a black and white dog and a white dog sleeping next to each other on a couch

The landlord then reviews the pet screening report, which provides information on the pet’s behavior, training, and temperament. Based on the information provided in the pet screening report, the landlord will decide whether to allow the pet in the rental property. If the pet is approved, the landlord may require the tenant to sign a pet agreement that outlines the rules and expectations for having a pet in the rental property.

Pet Screening Questions 

It’s advisable to develop a pet screening application or questionnaire. Here are some examples of general questions to ask:

  • What is your pet’s breed and species?
  • How much does your pet weigh?
  • How old is your pet?
  • How long have you owned your pet?
  • Are you able to provide documentation of your pet’s vaccinations?
  • Can your veterinarian confirm that your pet is healthy and up-to-date on vaccinations?
  • Has your pet ever harmed another animal or person?
  • Is your pet trained to use the bathroom outside?
  • Does your pet exhibit any concerning behaviors, such as growling, barking excessively, or displaying aggressive body language?

Questions Specific to Dogs

The following are questions to ask dog owners:

  • Has your dog been spayed or neutered? If not, do you have plans to do so?
  • Have you and your dog attended training classes?
  • Do you keep your dog leashed when walking them?
  • Do you promptly pick up your dog when they use the bathroom?
  • How much time does your dog spend alone each day?
person using treats to help train their dog in a dog park

Questions Specific to Cats

Ask the following if the tenant has a cat:

  • Has your cat been spayed or neutered? If not, do you have plans to do so?
  • Is your cat an indoor-only pet?
  • Does your cat use a litter box?
  • Is your cat registered and equipped with identification?

Why Renting to Tenants with Pets is a Good Idea

Here are several reasons why it is a good idea for a landlord to allow tenants with pets:

Expanded Tenant Pool 

By allowing pets, landlords can open up their pool of potential tenants to include pet owners who may not otherwise consider renting from them. This can increase the number of qualified applicants, making it easier to fill vacancies.

Responsible Pet Owners

Many pet owners are responsible and take great care of their pets. They may be more likely to pay rent on time, keep the property clean, and report any maintenance issues promptly.

Longer Tenancy

Tenants with pets tend to stay in rental properties longer-term because finding a pet-friendly rental can be challenging, and pet owners are often hesitant to move once they find a suitable home for themselves and their pets.

Higher Rent

Pet owners are often willing to pay higher rent or a pet deposit to secure a pet-friendly rental. This can increase the landlord’s revenue and offset any additional expenses associated with allowing pets.

Bottom Line

Having a pet screening process in place can greatly benefit both landlords and tenants. It ensures the safety and well-being of all parties involved and can prevent any potential damage to the property. If you are a landlord looking to implement a pet screening policy, consider working with a professional property management company like Bigham & Associates LLC!