Folsom Property Management Blog

Everything You Should Know About Apartment Pet Screening

Everything You Should Know About Apartment Pet Screening

As a property manager or landlord, you no doubt take great care when it comes to screening your tenants. But what about furry tenants?

Just because a dog or a cat doesn't have income or credit history doesn't mean they're automatically qualified to live on your property. In fact, pet screening reviews are an essential part of your tenant's application process.

Keep reading to learn more about pet screening and how to successfully incorporate this into your rental business.

What Is Pet Screening?

You can't exactly pull up an Equifax report for a border collie, so how do you know if a pet is reliable and trustworthy?

The only way you'll know is if you do your homework. Just like you screen tenants to learn about their history, you need to do the same for any pets they plan to bring to your property. This includes finding out:

  • The pet's breed, age, gender, and weight
  • Their behavior history, including any history of noise complaints or biting
  • Their medical history, including current conditions 
  • If the pet is properly housetrained

It's important to note that landlords are legally required to make "reasonable accommodation" for service and assistance animals.

Pet Screening Tips for Rental Properties

So then, how do you go about acquiring this information and making your decision about a pet? Here are some tips that will help.

Ask the Right Questions

Your tenant application should include a pet questionnaire for the owner to fill out. Include questions such as:

  • How long have you owned your pet?
  • Does your pet have any physical or behavioral issues?
  • Can you provide written references from past landlords attesting to the pet's good behavior?
  • Can you provide a letter from your vet stating your pet is healthy?
  • How much time does your pet spend alone each day?
  • Who will take care of your pet if you travel or have a medical emergency?

Ask for clarification if anything is unclear, which you can easily do during the next step.

Schedule a Pet Interview

Even if everything looks fine on the written application, you'll still want to meet the pet before making your final decision.

Most importantly, you want to ensure the animal is not potentially dangerous. As a landlord, you could become legally liable if a dog bites or attacks someone on your property. Look for signs of aggression like growling, bared teeth, or raised fur on the back.

You'll also want to consider whether the dog barks excessively, as you don't want to receive noise complaints from neighbors. It's a good idea to make sure the dog responds to basic commands too, such as sit, stay, and down.

Property Management in Folsom, California

Just like you wouldn't allow a random person to move into your rental property, you shouldn't allow random animals to move in either.

Don't take a tenant's word that their pet is obedient and well-behaved. Go through a proper pet screening process to ensure your rental property will continue to be safe and secure — even with furry tenants.

Do you need help with the tenant or pet screening process? What about marketing or maintaining your rental property in Folsom, California? Contact us today to learn more about our professional property management services.