While allowing furry companions in your property can come with a number of advantages, it also comes with potential risks and challenges, from pet damage to noise complaints and insurance concerns. It’s thus important to implement measures that ensure responsible pet ownership in your rental units. 

That’s where pet screening comes in. Not only does it help limit potential tenant damage and disruption, but it also allows landlords to vet potential renters more thoroughly. From conducting background pets to checking for any current or pending animal-related legal disputes, routine pet screening is one of the best ways to protect your rental property

This article will explore why pet screening is always a good idea for landlords and what the process is. 

Why Pet Screening Is a Good Idea

Screening pets is as important as screening your tenants. It’s a great way to see what kind of pet you’re inviting into your rental property and highlight the responsibility that comes with it. If mishandled, pets can cause damage, be noisy, and even threaten other tenants or yourself. Here are a few reasons why pet screening is beneficial:

Reduce Potential Liability

By screening potential pets, landlords can protect their investment and the safety of other tenants. It’s most useful for breeds known for aggressive behavior or animals that may threaten other renters.

Avoid Problems with Other Tenants

Person sitting at a table, looking at a computer, drinking from a mug, and petting a dog

Pets can sometimes cause conflicts with other tenants, such as noise complaints or allergy concerns. Pet screening can help avoid these situations by ensuring the pet fits your rental property well.

Reduce Potential Damage

Pets have the potential to cause significant damage, so understanding their behavior and destructive tendencies may help reduce the risk of costly repairs or renovations.

A Better Understanding of Pet Owners

Pet screening can help you get to know the pet owner better and gain insight into their approach to animal care. Landlords must ensure that pet owners are responsible and capable of caring for their furry friends properly.

What Does Pet Screening Refer To?

Pet screening is the process of evaluating a potential pet owner’s suitability as a responsible pet caretaker. It assesses the pet’s physical and mental health and how they may react to different situations.

The screening should cover basic obedience commands, how well the pet gets along with children and other animals, and any medical or behavioral issues that may affect the pet’s interactions in their environment. It may also include background checks, references from veterinarians or shelters, and an assessment of the pet’s behavior.

What Is the Pet Screening Process?

Here are some steps to ensure your tenant’s pet fits your home and lifestyle well.

Pet Policy

Person holding a black pen and reviewing a printed document on a clipboard

You should first create a pet policy that outlines what is expected from your tenant and their pet. This should include the types of pets allowed, information about any pet deposits or fees, and the screening you plan to use.

Create an Application

Next, create an application for your potential pet owners to fill out. By requiring all pet owners to complete an application, you’ll be able to get important information about their furry friends and decide if they’re a good fit for your property.

So, what questions should you include in your application? Here are some suggestions:

  • What is the pet’s name, type, breed, age, gender, and size?
  • Are there any vaccination records for the past year?
  • What are the known behavioral issues or health concerns of the pet?
  • Has the pet ever hurt another person or animal before?
  • Is the pet house trained?
  • Has the pet been spayed or neutered?
  • Is it possible to provide a letter from a veterinarian confirming the pet’s health?

For Dogs

  • Has the pet completed a dog training class?
  • Is the owner keeping their pet on a leash when walking?
  • Is the owner immediately cleaning up after their pet in public areas?
  • How much time does the pet spend alone daily (if any)?

For Cats

Gray cat wearing a blue leash

  • Does the cat have any declawing history?
  • Has the cat been spayed or neutered?
  • Is the cat an indoor or outdoor pet?
  • Does the cat use a litter box?
  • Has the cat ever had any identification (such as a microchip)?

Conduct an Interview

Once all applications have been reviewed, it’s time to set up an interview with the potential tenant. This interview is an excellent opportunity to ask any additional questions and better understand their commitment to being a responsible renter and pet owner.

During the meeting, you’ll want to observe how the pet interacts with its owner. Pay attention to how it reacts and behaves around other people or animals in different situations.

Additionally, you’ll want to ask the pet owner about any existing medical conditions their pet may have and discuss any potential rules for their animal in your home, such as what areas are off limits and if there are any noise restrictions.

Which Pets Need Screening and How Often?

It’s essential to screen all pets before the tenants move-in, regardless of type or breed. This includes cats, dogs, small mammals, birds, reptiles, and fish. Screening should also be conducted any time a tenant moves in or renews their lease. If a tenant acquires a pet during the tenancy period, they should also undergo the pet screening process.

Wrapping It Up

The pet screening process is an essential step in the tenant evaluation process. It protects your property and tenants by allowing you to make informed decisions about who lives in your community.

If you’re looking for help in creating a pet screening strategy, East Bay Property Management is here for you! Contact us today to learn more about our pet screening services and how they can help protect your property.