Why Pet Screening Is Always a Good Idea?

Are you a landlord looking to safeguard your property while accommodating pet-loving tenants? Pet screening is an essential step in achieving that balance. 

This process not only protects your investment but also ensures a harmonious living environment for all residents. By implementing pet screening, you can identify responsible pet owners and set clear expectations from the start. 

This guide will walk you through the benefits of pet screening, highlighting its importance in maintaining property standards and fostering a positive community atmosphere. 

Embrace a pet-friendly approach without compromising on property care and tenant satisfaction.

Why Should One Allow Pets in Rental Properties?

Allowing pets in rental properties can offer numerous advantages to landlords, despite the potential concerns about damage and noise leading to noise complaints. Here are some compelling reasons to consider a pet-friendly policy:

  • Increased Demand: A significant portion of renters own pets. By allowing pets, landlords tap into a broader market, potentially reducing vacancy rates.
  • Higher Rental Yields: Pet-friendly properties often command higher rents. Pet owners are typically willing to pay more for accommodations that welcome their furry friends.
  • Longer Tenancies: Pet owners tend to move less frequently, seeking stability for their pets. This can lead to longer tenancy periods, reducing turnover costs and vacancy periods.
  • Responsible Tenants: Pet owners can be more responsible tenants. The commitment required to care for a pet often translates into better care for their living space.
  • Community and Well-being: Pets contribute to a sense of community and well-being within the property. They can help in creating a more neighborly and friendly atmosphere.

someone holding a dog's paw

What Exactly is Pet Screening? 

Pet screening is a process landlords use to evaluate potential tenants’ pets before allowing them in rental properties. This involves assessing the pet’s breed, size, behavior, and health history to ensure they’re suitable for the property.  

It often includes verifying vaccinations, checking references from previous landlords or vets, and sometimes meeting the pet in person.

What is Included in Pet Screening? 

When it comes to pet screening, landlords have the flexibility to manage the process themselves or to leverage a third-party service for a comprehensive evaluation.

Self-conducted Pet Screening

If you choose to conduct the screening on your own, your first step is to develop a detailed questionnaire for your prospective tenants regarding their pets. This application should cover essential aspects to understand the pet’s compatibility with your property:

  • Basic Information: Ask about the pet’s species, breed, weight, and age to get a sense of its size and potential impact on the property.
  • Health and Vaccinations: Inquire about the pet’s health history, vaccination records, and a veterinarian’s certificate confirming up-to-date vaccinations and overall health.
  • Behavior and Training: Questions should delve into the pet’s behavior, including any history of aggression, training received, house-training status, and how the pet behaves in unfamiliar settings or with new people.
  • Specific Questions for Dogs: Include queries about spaying/neutering, completion of any dog training classes, leash habits during walks, and how the owner manages waste disposal.
  • Specific Questions for Cats: Ask if the cat is spayed/neutered, whether it’s an indoor cat, litter box training status, and if the cat has proper identification and registration.

a person crouching to a dog's height wth a leash in their hands

In-person Evaluation

Beyond the questionnaire, conducting an in-person meeting with the pet can provide valuable insights into its behaviour and temperament. However, it’s important to remember that pets might act differently in new or stressful situations. 

If you’re not experienced with animals, it might be wise to involve a professional for this part of the screening.

 By combining a thorough questionnaire with an in-person assessment, landlords can gain a comprehensive understanding of the pet and make informed decisions about allowing them in the rental property.

 What are The Benefits of Pet Screening Services?

Pet screening services offer a streamlined and efficient approach to evaluating pets and their owners for landlords and property managers. Here are some key benefits of utilising these services:

  • Professionalism and Expertise: Pet screening services bring a level of professionalism and animal behaviour expertise that might be beyond the average landlord’s knowledge, ensuring a thorough and fair assessment.
  • Time and Resource Savings: These services save landlords time and resources by handling the entire screening process, from collecting documents to assessing pet behaviour, allowing landlords to focus on other aspects of property management.
  • Standardised Processes: Pet screening services use standardised procedures to evaluate pets, providing consistent and unbiased assessments that help in making informed decisions.
  • Compliance and Documentation: They ensure compliance with housing regulations and provide thorough documentation of the pet’s health, behaviour, and owner’s responsibility, which can be crucial in case of disputes.

owner walking their golden retriever holding. a leash in their hand

Pet Clauses in Lease Agreements

Understanding the advantages of permitting pets, it’s important to add a pet policy to your lease agreements. While services like PetScreening can handle this for you, creating one yourself is also an option. Your pet policy doesn’t need to be complicated. It should clearly outline:

  • The screening process you’ll use for pets.
  • The kinds of pets you’re willing to accept.
  • Any fees or deposits required for pets.

What Kinds of Pets Should Be Screened and How Often?

All pets, particularly dogs, cats, and any large or exotic animals, should undergo initial screening before moving in. Regular check-ups, ideally annually or at lease renewal, ensure ongoing compliance with your pet policy. 

Final Thoughts

In wrapping up, it’s clear that pet screening stands as a win-win for landlords and pet-loving tenants alike. It ensures that only well-behaved pets and responsible owners become part of your community, protecting your property and maintaining a harmonious living environment. 

If the idea of navigating pet policies and screenings feels daunting, consider partnering with a seasoned ally. Limehouse Property Management specialises in making property management smooth and hassle-free, including pet screenings.  

Let Limehouse take the lead, ensuring your rental is in safe hands while you enjoy the benefits of a pet-friendly approach.