The comfort that pets offer has led to a general rise in pet ownership. As a result, tenants often look for rental homes that allow pets. For landlords, this offers an excellent opportunity to earn additional rental income. It's possible to draw in new tenants and keep your current ones by being accommodating with your pet restrictions.

It is common knowledge that having pets around increases the risk of damage to your rental property. Neighbors might complain to you about the noisy disruption that pets can cause. If you're considering renting to tenants who have pets, you should use a thorough pet screening procedure in advance.

By following a pet screening procedure properly, damage can be reduced, noise issues avoided, and complaints limited. Screening pets is necessary to protect both the tenants and your property from the drawbacks of accepting pets.

Benefits of Pets in Your Rental

  • Long Term Tenants: Pet owners prioritize the well-being of their pets. That means avoiding interruptions to their routine that frequent moving can cause. As long as a habitable environment is presented by a landlord, then it is likely for tenants with pets to settle in one place for a long time increasing tenant retention.

  • Larger Pool of Potential Tenants: Pet free rentals have a limited market in contrast to pet-friendly properties. This is advantageous if you have competitors offering similar features and amenities. You can gain an edge over them due to your pet-friendly policy. Vacancies can also be quickly filled out if you open yourself to a wider market base.
  • Responsible Tenants: Since taking care of pets requires performing tasks that entail discipline, you can depend on renters with pets to ensure they remain compliant with the property policies so they can keep staying, considering that not all rentals open their doors to tenants with pets.

What is Pet Screening

Similar to tenant screening, it is vital to screen pets before accepting them in your rental property. You will want to learn about the pet’s history, including its health condition and behavioral tendencies.

You can hire an external party to conduct the pet screening if you have little expertise in evaluating pets. The process can include meeting the pet and owner, asking candidates to complete an application, and requesting for health screening records for verification.

Pet Screening Procedure

There are various options when running a pet screening. You can choose to engage the services of a third party or do the process yourself. Should you decide to do it on your own, it is best to draft a questionnaire and schedule a personal meeting with the owner and pet.

To learn important information about a pet, you need to create a questionnaire that will reveal pet details.

Important Questions to Ask

  • What animal and breed is your pet?
  • How much does the pet weigh? Will it get bigger?
  • How old is the pet?
  • How long have you owned the pet?
  • Has the pet been vaccinated? Please submit proof such as a certificate of vaccine confirmation from a vet.
  • Has your pet undergone house training?
  • Has there been any occasion where the pet injured another person or animal?
  • When does your pet display aggression? Does it have behavior problems?

For Dogs

  • Do you have plans to spay or neuter the dog?
  • Have you and your dog finished a dog training class?
  • Do you normally use a leash when you take your dog on walks?
  • How often do you leave your dog alone each day?

For Cats

  • Do you plan to spay or neuter your cat?
  • Is your cat familiar with using a litter box?
  • Is your cat registered and carrying identification?
  • Does your cat typically stay indoors?

Once the questionnaire has been handed out, it is time to arrange a face-to-face encounter with the owner and the pet.

Meeting In-Person

After reviewing the application form, a pet may seem to pass all the criteria you have set in pet screening. Still, nothing replaces checking out the pet in person so meeting the owner and its pet personally should be part of the screening procedure to verify the information submitted.

Just remember that pets can be nervous when meeting strangers and might not be on their best behavior. Avoid judging pets on first impressions. You can also seek out the help of experts who can evaluate pets better and know how to interact with them.

Pet Clauses

You must ensure that pet policies and clauses are included in your lease and they must be specific. Make sure that they include the kind of screening conducted, the types of pets allowed in your rental unit, and the fee charges and required deposit under your pet policy.

Pet Fees and Deposits

Since there are costs associated with pet screening, landlords typically charge additional fees. They also earn revenue from offering the convenience of accommodating pets in their rentals. It’s vital to review the local state laws before setting the pet charges.

Landlords can charge three pet-related fees, such as:

  1. A one-time fee covers the whole rental period and is paid at the start of the lease.
  2. Pet owners may be asked to pay a monthly rent on top of the regular housing rent.

  1. Aside from the security deposit collected by a landlord, they can also request a pet deposit that will be refunded at the end of the tenancy, provided no damage outside wear and tear is present at their rental space.

Bottom line

Although it is risky to allow pets in your rental property, the benefits are worth considering since it can bring higher income and more renters. As long as you have an outstanding pet screening program, the risks can be managed.

With its expert support, Drew Doheny Property Management guarantees complete inspections and compliance with all legal regulations. A good pet-friendly renting experience involves implementing pet-specific language into lease agreements, upholding a non-discriminatory policy, and handling fees appropriately.

Think of Drew Doheny Property Management as your knowledgeable guide through the challenges of pet screening and creating a welcoming and law-abiding rental environment. Reach out to us today for additional details!