With more than 70% of renters identifying as pet owners, property managers must consider their animals are part of the overall tenant application process. While resident screening is important, so too is screening for their furry companions. Failure to do so could lead to costly property damage, liability claims, and dissatisfied residents.
This post details the reasons why pet screening is important for any apartment community and how pet management solutions such as OurPetPolicy can help streamline the process.
The Challenges of Traditional Tenant Selection
Traditionally, tenant applicants are evaluated based on objective measures such as credit scores, background checks, and rental history. This often doesn’t tell the whole story, however. People are more than what’s reported on paper, and this is especially true if they’re applying with a pet. Without proper pet screening and knowledge of the animals living on the property, you could unknowingly house a pet with a problematic history.
While all property managers deal with pet-related damage and behavioral issues at some level, it’s better to be fully informed upfront to prevent potential legal disputes and financial losses when possible.
The Benefits of Pet Screening Software
Pet screening software, such as OurPetPolicy, grants landlords and property managers valuable insight in order to streamline the initial screening process. These solutions provide an easy-to-use portal where information about pets can be stored and monitored to help mitigate risk and track pet behavior over time. OurPetPolicy in particular also automates pet-related inquiries, generates customizable policies, and enables direct communication between tenants and property teams.
Ultimately, this software saves time and helps your leasing team easily screen pets to avoid unnecessary risk.
Adopting a Comprehensive Pet Screening Process
Whether you already have a pet program in place or are considering adopting one, it’s important to set strict rules to protect tenants and your business. Oftentimes, properties will place limits on pet acceptance based on size, breed, behavior, and vaccination status. Some will even have tenants provide proof of training records or certifications to evaluate training and socialization. Pet screening software, such as OurPetPolicy, can help you collect this type of pet-related data to make informed decisions early in the process.
Verifying Legitimate Emotional Support Animals (ESAs)
Emotional support animal (ESA) claims have drastically increased in recent years. While individuals living with disabilities are entitled to reasonable accommodation under fair housing rules, you’ll want to ensure the legitimacy of such claims instead of blindly approving service animal requests. That’s where solutions such as OurPetPolicy come in.
These tools provide property managers with built-in ESA verification, making it easy to mitigate legal risk while also ensuring appropriate support for those tenants with valid service animal claims.
Ensuring a Pet-Friendly Environment
When tenants and their pets are appropriately screened before they move in, the result is a safer, more harmonious living environment for all residents. Setting strict standards and ensuring compliance with set policies helps to prevent pet-related damage and disturbances.
Continual monitoring is also encouraged via resident reporting in pet screening tools. This open line of communication between management and renters can help you identify problem areas before they escalate and lead to more satisfied tenants who are likely to stay longer and recommend your community.
Pet screening isn’t just a wise business decision; it’s a vital tool to help foster a safe and harmonious community for staff and residents alike. With the right solutions, landlords and property managers can now easily screen and verify animals before they set their paws on the property.
OurPetPolicy has become a trusted pet management platform to optimize tenant selection and mitigate the potential risk of housing unruly animals. And with included ESA verification, documentation storage, and a violation notification system, it can help you standardize and maintain a comprehensive pet program no matter the size or location of your property. Before you screen any new tenants and their pets, put OurPetPolicy in place today.