Skip to Content

Why Pet Screening Is Always a Good Idea

Are you a landlord considering the pros and cons of allowing pets in your rental property? You’re not alone! Many property owners ask themselves this question, but there’s a simple solution that benefits everyone: pet screening. 

This invaluable tool not only broadens your tenant pool by making your property pet-friendly but also safeguards your investment. Through a detailed assessment of pets and their owners, pet screening ensures that only responsible pet owners and well-behaved pets become part of your rental community. 

Embracing pet screening could be the key to a smoother, more profitable rental experience. Let’s dive into why pet screening is always a good idea.

Why Should You Allow Pets in Rental Properties?

Allowing pets in rental properties can be a strategic decision for landlords, offering a range of benefits that extend beyond merely filling vacancies. 

Closeup Photography of Adult Short-coated Tan and White Dog Sleeping on Gray Textile at Daytime

Here are several compelling reasons why embracing pet-friendly policies might be advantageous:

  • Premium Rent Potential: Properties that accommodate pets can often command higher rental prices. Pet owners are generally willing to pay a premium for a welcoming environment for their furry companions, which can enhance your rental income.
  • Responsible Tenant Profile: Pet owners often demonstrate responsibility and commitment, qualities that are desirable in tenants. The care and attention required to maintain a pet can reflect a tenant’s overall reliability and conscientiousness, potentially leading to better care of your property.
  • Expanded Tenant Pool: By allowing pets, landlords significantly widen the potential pool of applicants. A substantial amount of the population consists of pet owners who often struggle to find accommodating housing. This wider tenant base can lead to shorter vacancy periods and increased demand for your property.
  • Community and Well-Being: Pets contribute to a sense of home and well-being, fostering a positive living environment. This can lead to happier tenants and a more vibrant, community-oriented property, which can encourage tenants to rent from you long-term and can improve your reputation as a rental property owner.
  • Market Differentiation: Offering pet-friendly rentals can set your property apart in a competitive market. This unique selling point can attract more interest and give you an edge over properties with strict no-pet policies.
  • Enhanced Online Reviews and Word-of-Mouth: Satisfied tenants are more likely to leave positive reviews and recommend your properties to others. Given the challenges pet owners face in finding suitable accommodations, they might be particularly appreciative and vocal about their positive experiences.

Woman In Grey Top Hugging Brown Dachshund

What Exactly Is Pet Screening?

Pet screening is similar to tenant screening. It’s a detailed evaluation process undertaken by landlords or property managers to assess pets and their owners before permitting them to live in a rental property. 

This process often starts with a pet application that gathers comprehensive information about the pet. Additionally, a pet interview may be conducted to personally assess the pet’s behavior and temperament, ensuring it’s a good fit for the rental property. 

This thorough screening process aims to minimize potential issues, ensuring that pets in the property are well-behaved and unlikely to cause damage or disturbances. Keep in mind that a pet is not the same as a service animal for a person with a disability. As per the Fair Housing Act, you cannot refuse a tenant with a service animal.

What Does a Pet Screening Entail?

When conducting pet screenings for dogs and cats, it’s important to consider specific aspects that pertain to each type of pet. Here are some tailored pointers for screening both dogs and cats:

For Dogs

  • Breed and Size: Some breeds have specific behavioral traits, and size can impact how suitable they are for the property.
  • Age and Health: Younger dogs may be more energetic and require more attention, while older dogs might have special health needs.
  • Vaccination and Health Records: Ensure the dog is up-to-date on vaccinations and check for any chronic health issues.
  • Spaying/Neutering: This can affect a dog’s behavior and is often a condition for rental agreements.
  • Behavior and Training: Ask if the dog has completed any obedience training and how it behaves around other animals and people.
  • Exercise and Care: Understand the tenant’s plan for regular exercise and care, especially if the dog will spend long periods alone.
  • Leash and Waste Management: Confirm that the tenant practices responsible pet ownership, including using a leash and cleaning up after their dog. 

White Shih Tzu Puppy on Fabric Sofa Chair

For Cats

  • Breed and Personality: While breed might not be as significant as with dogs, the cat’s personality can impact its adaptability to the living environment.
  • Age and Health: Like dogs, the age and health status of a cat are important for understanding its care requirements.
  • Vaccination and Health Records: Ensure the cat’s vaccinations are current and check for any ongoing health concerns.
  • Spaying/Neutering: This is crucial for preventing unwanted behaviors and health issues.
  • Indoor vs. Outdoor: Determine if the cat will live indoors exclusively or if it will have outdoor access, which can impact the safety of both the cat and the local wildlife.
  • Litter Box Training: Confirm that the cat is litter box trained and inquire about the tenant’s plan for maintaining cleanliness.
  • Identification and Registration: Check if the cat has a microchip, collar, or other forms of identification in case it gets lost.

In both cases, an in-person meeting, when possible, can provide additional insight into the pet’s behavior and the owner’s control and interaction with the pet. This step can be particularly revealing and should be conducted with care, considering that pets might behave differently in unfamiliar situations.

Hand petting a white cat

Benefits of a Pet Screening Service

Using a pet screening service offers several benefits for landlords, making the rental process smoother and more secure when it comes to accommodating tenants with pets:

  1. Saves Time: Pet screening can be time-consuming. A service handles the details, freeing you up to focus on other aspects of managing your property.
  2. Expert Assessments: These services are experienced in evaluating pets and can provide a more thorough and professional assessment than you might on your own, especially if you’re not familiar with different breeds and behaviors.
  3. Consistency: A pet screening service ensures that every pet and owner is evaluated using the same criteria, which helps maintain fairness and consistency in your rental policies.
  4. Risk Reduction: By conducting detailed screenings, these services can help identify potential issues before they arise, reducing the risk of property damage or problems with other tenants.
  5. Documentation: A pet screening service provides documented evidence of the pet’s health, behavior, and history. This can be invaluable in case of disputes or damage claims.
  6. Legal Compliance: Although Texas doesn’t currently have specific laws around pets and rental properties, situations can change. These services stay up-to-date on laws and regulations regarding pets in rental properties, ensuring that your policies comply with local and federal laws, thus protecting you from potential legal issues.


In wrapping up, it’s clear that pet screening stands out as a smart choice for savvy landlords. Not only does it pave the way for a harmonious rental environment, but it also aligns with the growing trend of pet-friendly living spaces. If the idea of navigating pet screenings feels daunting, consider partnering with experts. 

Real Property Management Talent offers comprehensive services that include efficient pet screening processes. By teaming up with them, you ensure your property and peace of mind are well looked after, allowing you to reap the rewards of a pet-friendly approach with none of the fuss. 

Reach out to Real Property Management Talent today and take the first step towards a more inclusive, secure, and prosperous rental experience.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.

The Neighborly Done Right Promise

The Neighborly Done Right Promise ® delivered by Real Property Management, a proud Neighborly company

When it comes to finding the right property manager for your investment property, you want to know that they stand behind their work and get the job done right – the first time. At Real Property Management we have the expertise, technology, and systems to manage your property the right way. We work hard to optimize your return on investment while preserving your asset and giving you peace of mind. Our highly trained and skilled team works hard so you can be sure your property's management will be Done Right.

Canada excluded. Services performed by independently owned and operated franchises.

See Full Details