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Why Waco Landlords Should Have a Pet Screening Procedure

Two Happy Waco Residents with their Cute DogIt is a common concern for landlords to be wary about allowing pets to reside on a rental property. However, when you learn why Waco landlords should have a pet screening procedure in place you can feel informed about the decision you are making.

Assistance/Service Animals

At Real Property Management Talent, we ensure that the properties we have under management are equal opportunity housing, and with that, we accommodate a wide variety of potential clients. Lesser known, however, is that just like there are many types of residents, there is also a variety of animals that are allowed on the property by law.

Under the Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, assistance and service animals are allowed on any property if they are registered as a support animal for a disability, which is defined by the FHA as “a physical or mental impairment which significantly limits a person’s major life activities.”

So, you may want to think twice before saying that a resident cannot have their pet on your rental property as you are required to give “reasonable accommodation” to residents with support animals. Service animals administered by the ADA are legally allowed anywhere and are defined as a dog or miniature horse that has been trained to do work to perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability.

Understanding this important differentiation will help you avoid a legal matter by turning away a resident and their assistance or service animal by confusing it with a pet. However, by having a screening process in place you can determine if it is an assistance animal by asking for documentation from a doctor or therapist that acknowledges that the residents’ animal is an assistance animal.

Contact Past Landlords

One of the best screening tips when allowing pets on your rental property would be to contact past landlords, pets may get references, too. This will offer you a much better understanding if the animal ever caused damage to the house, disturbed the peace of neighbors, or caused some other issues.

This is an effortless and fast method to help without turning a potential resident away steer you on your choice. Do not be scared to rent to a resident with a moderate or large sized dog due to unfounded fears. The thing in your thoughts could be a big teddy bear that does more to create your residents and neighbors joyful than annoyed.

Include Pet Riders in Lease Agreement

Another vital step to your screening procedure is such as a pet rider on your rental agreement. This makes certain that the animal’s presence accounted for regarding property damage, also on the property is understood. Some landlords will incorporate a pet addendum if their existing residents want to get a pet after they have moved in, however it is ideal to have a pet rider at the first document.

Some elements the rider that is pet must include are:

  • Pet details: breed, color, gender, age, and weight
  • Pet fee: if it is not an assistance animal you are able to charge a fee for a resident to own a pet on your property
  • Damage deposit: this deposit will be returned if the pet does not incur any damages during its stay
  • Vaccination list: have resident include type of vaccination and date

Having a legally binding document ensures that no additional pets can be added without your consent and that the pet residing on the property is fit to be around other animals and residents of the neighborhood. This legal rider will ensure that if any curve-balls are thrown your way, it is the responsibility of the owner to ensure that the issues are handled properly.

Take Photos of Pet

Another step in your screening procedure that is pet is to take photographs of their pet. Imagine the surprise you’d have when creating use of a house to do maintenance to find that the Chihuahua your resident signed to get is a Great Dane.

By taking a photograph, and documenting details like the kind of animal, its overall dimensions and markings, as well as any other important info regarding the pet, can help ensure that pet does not turn to three, and a little dog does not wind up being a much bigger problem.

Do More Business

Ultimately, having a pet screening policy makes it possible to do more business. While you might initially shy away from allowing non-assistance animals on your house many possible residents search for single-family-homes to lease over apartments based on having a pet. You can even make additional money if you decide to control pet rent that the gardener has to pay every month.

Additionally, pet-owners are frequently more responsible than your average resident. Should they have taken the time to train their pet, find proper care for their pet when they are gone and are disinclined to leave their pet due to leasing policies then this may be the kind of resident that you want in your premises. While this is not accurate for many pet owners, it’s something to consider when screening both residents and animals.

When you rely on Real Property Management Talent for your property management services, you will find that we do more than just respond to repair calls. We assist landlords and investment homeowners alike to put responsible, compatible residents in your rental property and to ensure that all possible liabilities such as pets are properly screened so that the rental experience is a good one for both you and your residents.

Start realizing the benefits of having a pet screening process and contact us online or call us at 254-4010-0400 today!

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.

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