These days, everywhere you go it seems like you regularly encounter people with pets. You see them at cafes, resorts, and even in airports. It is no wonder then that businesses are holding more space for pets. 

Since the trend of pet ownership is not going to fade away anytime soon, it might be worthwhile for landlords to consider catering to tenants with pets. Various advantages await, such as having access to more potential residents.

The best thing to come up with is a well-developed pet screening system to reduce the risk of property damage caused by pets. If you don’t have a proper pet screening in place, you may end up dealing with noise complaints from neighbors and plenty of property damage. 


Advantages Available to Pet-Friendly Rentals

The Tenant Selection Is Wider 

If there are several rental units in your neighborhood, you can differentiate yourself by providing a property that accommodates tenants with pets. Given the rise in pet ownership, more people are likely to favor pet-friendly rental properties. You can attract this demographic by building amenities suitable for pets.


You End Up With Responsible Tenants 

Since pet owners are used to taking on the duties of pet ownership, such as feeding, walking, and taking their pets to the vet, they tend to be more reliable.

A small dog eating out of a food bowl.

Tenants With Pets Prefer To Stay Longer In One Place 

Since renters with pets prioritize their pet’s well-being, they are unlikely to move from one rental to another very quickly. They would rather renew their leases and stay in a place that their pets are comfortable in, as the moving process with a pet is much more complicated than moving without one.


What Is Pet Screening?

Before accepting a pet into your rental, it is vital to run a pet screening. You want to be certain that the pet is a good fit. You can achieve this by learning about the background of the pet, including its health, behavior, and personality.

Performing a pet screening can be done independently of a tenant screening. You can also seek out an external party with more expertise to conduct the screening on your behalf. You can start by requiring the tenants with a pet to finish an application form, submit legitimate health documents, and set up a meeting in person.


The Process for Screening Pets

Your questionnaire must be composed of specific questions, such as:

  • What is the type and breed of your pet?
  • How much does your pet weigh?
  • How old is your pet?
  • Has the pet been vaccinated?  

You can also take it a step further and ask direct questions about specific types of animals.

For Dogs:

  • Do you plan to spay or neuter your dog? 
  • Did your dog participate in any training classes?
  • Is your dog fine with using a leash for walks? 

For Cats:

  • Do you plan to spay or neuter your cat?
  • Is your cat fine with using a litter box?
  • Is your cat registered? 

A large brown tabby cat with a red collar.

Upon receiving the application form, you can proceed to arrange a face-to-face meeting with the candidate and their pet to evaluate them further.


Meeting In-Person

Although you have requested the pet owner to complete an application form, you need to make a physical personal assessment. This is more reliable since the information written might run contrary to the actual behavior of the pet.

Hire a third party to perform a physical pet evaluation if your experience is limited. Remember that pets are often uncomfortable around new people so try not to expect too much on your first meeting.


What Pet Clauses to Include in Your Lease Agreement

Your lease agreement must contain the type of screening you used and the type of pets you accommodate in your rental. It should also mention the required fees and deposits that tenants must pay.


What Kind of Pets Require Screening

To minimize complaints, your pet screening process should be uniform throughout for all types of pets. When the lease renewal period rolls around, request updated pet documents in case there have been any changes. It is essential to know the current health condition of pets to minimize dealing with problems later on.


Guidelines on Service Animals

Different states may have different categories for service animals so landlords must review their local laws to be guided properly. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines service animals as trained dogs who help disabled people by performing assistive tasks.

A service dog with a work vest on.

Renters can provide a letter from a mental health professional that declares their need for a service animal. Note that you cannot collect a pet deposit from tenants with service animals since these are not considered pets.


What Pet Fees and Deposits Landlords Can Charge

Screening pets can be costly, so landlords are allowed to charge pet fees. Check your state laws to learn what types of pet fees and deposits you can collect from your tenants.

The three types of pet fees you can charge are one-time fees, monthly rent, and deposit. One-time can be collected at the beginning of the rental period, whereas monthly fees must be paid each month in addition to the property rent. Deposits are collected at the start of the tenancy and are separate from the security deposit that renters hand over.


Bottom Line

Crafting a complete pet screening procedure is essential to reduce the risks faced by landlords. Potential pet damage is minimized and the property is better protected.

You can hire a trusted property manager to handle pet screening and oversee your rental property. If you’re interested, contact Keyrenter Denver today!