The number of individuals and households owning pets in the United States is on the rise. And with it comes a higher demand for pet-friendly rental properties. Choosing to make your rental property pet-friendly could increase the profitability of your investment in real estate.
But reservations that you might have about the idea are also understandable. You might have heard stories from other landlords about the possibility of damage, bad odors, and loud noises at weird hours of the night.
So how can you protect our property and also your other tenants living on the property? The solution lies in having a full-proof pet screening solution! In this article, the team from Home Choice Property Management will advise you on the process.
Why Should You Make Your Property Pet-friendly?
The following are the benefits that come with accepting pets in your rentals:
More Long-term Tenants
By choosing to make your property pet-friendly, you are standing out in the rental market. Once a pet owner has secured the lease and their pet is at ease, they are most likely to renew the lease agreement at its expiry. This is because they know that it would be difficult to secure another pet-friendly space in the area. What’s more, moving frequently can be distressing to their pet.
Higher Market Value
Because of the unique policies that your property offers i.e. being pet-friendly, you can choose to rent your space slightly higher than the market value. This can improve the overall value of your property and allows you to increase your ROI.
Responsible and Quality Tenants
Having a pet is serious work and a significant financial undertaking. You must cater to its well-being and ensure that it doesn’t disturb the neighbors. With such dedication, you can expect your new tenants to show similar responsibility in caring for your home.
Pet Screening: What Is It?
A pet screening is similar to tenant screening. It’s where a property owner checks on the suitability of a pet’s health, personality, and behavior. Pet screening allows a property owner to decide whether the pet is ideal for the property. The property owner will ask for information about the animal from the pet owner through the use of a questionnaire, meeting the pet in person, and health documentation.
To access the suitability of the pet, a landlord can choose to either conduct the screening themselves or higher a third-party. Regardless of the choice, here is the process that you can follow for a pet screening:
Use a Questionnaire
Filled out by the pet owner, a questionnaire is a good way of getting comprehensive information on the type of pet you are dealing with. It offers you a background on its personality and behavior. Here are some of the questions that you can use in your questionnaire:
- Which type of pet do you have?
- What is the age and weight of the pet?
- What breed is the pet?
- Has the pet been vaccinated? Do you have documentation on which ones they’ve received?
- Can you offer documentation from a veterinarian that proves that your pet is in good health?
- Does your pet have a history of violence?
- Is your pet well-trained?
- Has your pet expressed any behavioral issues in the past?
While these are generic questions that might apply regardless of the animal, also consider the type of pet. Customize your pet screening questionnaire to ask unique questions that will give you a good feel for the animal.
A questionnaire might give you a general idea of the animal’s health and behavior but it’s no replacement for an in-person meeting. Meeting the animal face-to-face also allows you to verify the information that the owner put down on the questionnaire.
Note that pets tend to be nervous around strangers. It would be wise for you to request an in-person meeting together with a licensed professional. They would be able to de-escalate the situation should the need arise.
Advantages of Pet Screening
The main advantage of pet screening is peace of mind. Leasing a property to a pet owner might come with some level of risk. Pet screening allows you to vet the behavior of the animal. You would be able to limit your risks and enjoy the full benefits of leasing to a pet owner.
As you can put together from the above, pet screening can take a bit of some time. You will need to be thorough as you collect information from the potential tenant. If you are not a full-time landlord, consider hiring a property management company. They would be able to handle the pet screening thoroughly.
As mentioned earlier, most property owners charge a higher rent for their spaces. This is often through the implementation of pet rent or a pet security deposit. This extra rental fee should be commensurate with the risk of leasing your space.
However, you should also read applicable county ordinances and California laws on pet fees to ensure that you don’t find yourself on the wrong side of the law.
Owning a pet is becoming a norm in the country. Converting your home into a pet-friendly property gives you a competitive edge over your neighbors and also allows you to charge higher rent. Concerned that you might be overwhelmed with pet screening? With over a decade of experience, Home Choice Property Management is the company to rely on.
Our goal as a leading Anaheim property management company is to reduce our client’s stress. With our proven and trusted strategies, you are guaranteed the best service. Get in touch with us today and learn more about our property management solutions.