As a landlord, you know that every decision you make can significantly impact your rental property. When it comes to pets, the stakes are even higher. Sure, that little fur ball might seem harmless, but without proper screening, you could open yourself up to various issues.
From noise complaints to property damage, the consequences of allowing unvetted pets into your rental can be disastrous. But fear not - pet screening is here to save the day!
By taking the time to thoroughly assess each animal that comes through your doors, you'll protect your property and ensure the comfort and safety of all your tenants, furry and human alike.
In this blog post, we'll explore why pet screening should always be part of the tenancy process so that you can protect yourself from unnecessary issues down the line.
Why Is Allowing Pets in Your Rental Property a Good Idea?
Allowing pets in a rental property can be a great way for landlords to expand their pool of potential tenants and maximize their return on investment.
The following are some of the benefits of renting to tenants with pets:
Increased Tenant Retention
Pet owners tend to be long-term tenants, staying in their rental units longer than those without pets. This increases tenant retention rates, which reduces turnover costs associated with finding new tenants and can save landlords time, energy, and money in the long run.
Improved Property Value
Allowing pets into the property can also help improve the overall property value by bringing in more desirable tenants who’ll look after their homes and take better care of them.
Increased Demand for Rental Units
By allowing pets into your property, landlords can attract more potential tenants to their rental units and increase the demand for available units.
This, in turn, increases the property's market value and allows landlords to capitalize on the increased demand by charging higher rents.
What Is Pet Screening?
Pet screening is often conducted by third-party services and may involve an in-person meeting, an application with a questionnaire, and health screening documentation. It evaluates an animal's behavior and suitability for a particular situation.
This can include determining whether or not a pet is suitable for living in an apartment, getting along with other pets, being around children, and responding to basic obedience commands. It also includes assessing any medical or behavioral issues that could affect the pet's interaction with its environment.
Benefits of Pet Screening
The main benefit of pet screening is that it can help protect the safety of both the pets and the tenants.
It helps prevent pet owners from bringing animals with potentially dangerous or aggressive behavior into a home, which can cause injury or harm to others. It can also provide peace of mind for potential renters with allergies or a fear of animals.
Pet screening can also help ensure that pet owners are prepared for the responsibilities and costs associated with pet ownership, such as veterinary bills, food expenses, and regular grooming.
Finally, pet screening can be a great way to learn more about an animal's history before its adoption. This screening can help ensure a pet is healthy and free of genetic conditions or illnesses.
Pet Screening Process
Create a Pet Screening Application
To ensure the safety of all animals and tenants, all pet owners must complete a pet screening application. This application will help landlords gain important information about a tenant's pet and allow them to decide if they’re the right fit.
The application should include questions such as:
- Name and type of pet.
- Breed, age, gender, and size.
- Vaccination records for the past year.
- Any known behavioral issues or health concerns.
- If the pet has ever hurt another person or animal before.
- Whether or not the pet is house trained.
- Any other information tenants feel would be essential for landlords to know about their pet.
- Whether or not the pet has been spayed/neutered.
- Whether or not the pet has completed a dog training class.
- Whether or not the pet is kept on a leash when going for walks.
- If the owner immediately cleans up after their pet.
- How much time the pet spends alone each day (if any).
- Any declawing history of the cat.
- Whether or not the cat has been spayed/neutered.
- Whether the cat is an indoor or outdoor pet.
- Whether the cat uses a litter box.
- If the cat has ever had identification (such as a microchip).
Once you’ve received the pet screening application, arranging an in-person meeting with the potential tenant and their pet is essential.
This meeting will allow you to observe the animal's behavior and ask any additional questions that may come up while you review the application. It's also essential to ensure all family members understand your pet agreement before signing a lease.
What Types of Pets Require Screening?
All pets should go through the pet screening process. This includes pets such as cats, dogs, small mammals, birds, reptiles, and fish.
Pet screening should be conducted whenever a tenant moves in or renews their lease agreement. It’s also important to screen any pets added during the tenancy.
The pet screening process is an essential part of the rental process and should be taken seriously by landlords and tenants alike.
By following these guidelines, landlords can help create a safe and healthy environment for both their human and animal residents. With the right approach to pet screening, everyone can enjoy living in a peaceful and safe home.
If you have more questions about pet screening, RentEasy is here to assist you. Contact us today to discuss the best options for you and your tenants!