One of the most difficult aspects of managing rental properties as a landlord or property owner is dealing with renters who have pets. It might be beneficial to rent to pet owners, but it can also be risky. The risk can come in the form of damage to the property, disturbance to other tenants, and other liability issues that can arise.

The need for pet screening is therefore critical to prevent these potential risks. Understanding what pet screening is, why it's important, which pets should be screened, how frequently, and its significance will all be covered in this article.

What Is Pet Screening?

Pet screening involves assessing a tenant's pet before letting it live in the rental home. Pet screening can be done through a third-party screening service, which will provide a comprehensive report on the pet's behavior, history, and temperament.

The procedure for pet screening aids landlords in making knowledgeable choices regarding whether to permit a tenant with a pet to live in the rental property.

Which Pets Should be Screened and How Often?

All pets should be screened before being allowed in a rental property. This applies to dogs, cats, and other animals. It’s advised that pet screening be done once a year or if there is a change in the pet's behavior.

Pet Screening Procedure

Pet screening methods are essential for determining the temperament and history of behaviour of pets that renters intend to bring into their homes. A questionnaire and an evaluation of the pet's behavior and temperament are part of the procedure.

a cat and a black and white dog laying next to each other in some grass

Here are things a landlord can ask pet owners concerning their pets using the questionnaire:

Dogs

  • Details on the dog's spaying or neutering. If not, inquire if plans are in motion to have these procedures done.
  • Whether the dog has completed training courses
  • Ascertain whether the dog can be led on walks while wearing a leash
  • Find out from the pet owner whether they clean up after the dog
  • Ask for details on whether or not a dog can be left alone and for how long

Cats

  • Is your cat neutered or spayed? Do you intend to do that?
  • Do you keep your cat inside?
  • Does your cat use a litter box?
  • What is the cat's registration number and does it have proper identification?

Importance of Pet Screenings

Pet screening is important for landlords and property owners for several reasons. Below are five reasons why pet screening is always a good idea:

Prevent Property Damage

Pets can cause significant damage to rental properties, especially dogs. Dogs can chew on furniture, carpets, and walls, while cats can scratch or damage furniture. Landlords can examine the pet's behavior and ensure the risk is as low as possible.

Reduce Liability Issues

The landlord may be held responsible for losses if a renter's pet hurts another tenant or damages their property. Landlords can avoid liability problems by ensuring they only permit responsible, well-behaved pets and owners on their properties by carrying out a pet screening.

two tenant sitting on a couch with their white poodle and a grey cat

Improve Tenant Satisfaction

Many renters own pets and will not sign a lease for a rental that prohibits them. Landlords can improve tenant satisfaction and draw in more tenants by allowing pets.

Comply with Legal Requirements

Landlords are required in various regions to permit pets for tenants unless there is a good reason not to. Landlords can stay within the law by completing pet screening and ensuring that only pets with good justification are turned away.

Promote Responsible Pet Ownership

Pet screening encourages responsible pet ownership by ensuring that only animals with a positive history and disposition are allowed on rental properties. This may motivate tenants to retain their pets' good manners and be more responsible pet owners.

Can Prevent Conflicts Among Tenants

If you allow someone with a poorly behaved pet to rent your property, other tenants could be bothered by aggressive or noisy animals. There is also the issue of allergies and other medical issues to think about. With a screening, however, you can reduce these risks.

Pet Clauses in Lease Agreements

Pet clauses in lease agreements are essential to managing rental properties with pets. These provisions set forth the rules governing pet ownership and can assist in resolving disagreements and conflicts involving landlords, tenants, and their pets.

person passing a document to someone else across a table

To provide clarity and protect the property and its residents, the pet clauses should include the following details:

  • Types of pets allowed
  • Restrictions on pet size and breed
  • The number of pets allowed per unit
  • Pet deposit or fee
  • Rules around pet waste and cleanup
  • Guidelines for pet behavior and noise
  • Consequences for breaking pet rules
  • Maintenance and cleaning responsibilities for pet owners
  • Procedures for handling pet-related issues and complaints

Benefits of a Pet Screening Service

A pet screening service provides thorough reports and professional evaluation. A screening service's expert evaluation offers a reliable assessment of a tenant's pet, enabling more informed judgments. A screening service saves investment property owners time and effort while ensuring that all pets are evaluated fairly.

Landlords can save time and effort by utilizing a pet screening service instead of doing the job themselves. The comprehensive reports make it simpler for landlords to decide whether to allow pets on their properties.

Conclusion

Pet screening is a vital process that all landlords and property owners should consider. Landlords can lower the risk of property damage, liability issues, and unsatisfied tenants by doing pet screening to ensure they only permit well-behaved and responsible pets in their rental properties.

GoodDoors Property Management can assist landlords and property owners with pet screening and other aspects associated with running a rental property business. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our property management services and how we can assist you in better managing your rental properties!