Why Pet Screening Is Always a Good Idea

No matter the neighborhood, there will always be residents who own a pet. Pet owners who rent are often looking for a nice rental property that will accommodate their pets. Consequently, it will be to your best advantage as a rental property owner to make your property pet-friendly.

However, you might have heard of the difficulties that come with renting property to a pet-owner. You may be weary of scratches on the floors, damage to the window coverings, and stains on the carpets.

In this article, the team from Windermere Property Management shares their experience on the same. We describe the importance of pet screening for you as a rental property owner.

Why Should You Consider Pets on Your Rental Property?

Long-term leasing is one of the main reasons why you should open up your rental property to pet owners. A pet owner is not only looking out for their convenience, but also for that of their pets. Therefore, should the tenant feel as though the property is appropriate for their pet, they will likely be willing to lease your property long-term.

Opening up your rental property to pet owners gives you a competitive edge. Not every landlord wants to open their property up to pets, however, there are a large number of tenants who own pets. Therefore, you will be able to appeal to a greater tenant market. Also, you are able to charge a higher rent and improve the value of your property in the long run.
someone hugging a cat while sitting on the floor
As a property owner, you are looking into the longevity of your investment in rental units. Quality and regular maintenance plays a part in this. You need a reliable and responsible tenant who will keep your property in good condition. Most pet owners, by virtue of them owning and keeping pets, are responsible.

By leasing your rental property to pet owners, you are guaranteed higher rental pricing and a responsible tenant who you can trust to take care of your unit.

What Is Pet Screening?

Pet screening is very similar to tenant screening: it involves ascertaining a pet’s behavior, health, and personality. Typically, you will request the pet owner to provide for this information through a questionnaire, documentation, and in-person meetings.

To get information on the character and personality of your pet, you will need some tools/ techniques to assist.
a person holding a dog against their chest


A questionnaire is a good start when you are collecting information about a pet. Some of the questions that you should consider putting in your questionnaire include:

  • What breed is your animal?
  • What is the age of your pet?
  • How many years have you owned him?
  • Has the animal been vaccinated? Do you have proof of the vaccinations?
  • How is its health? Can a veterinarian confirm this?
  • Has the pet ever hurt anybody before?
  • Is your pet house-trained?

There are some questions that are specific depending on the type of pet that you have. Here are some unique questions for dogs:

  • Does your pet spend time alone during the day? If so, how many hours?
  • Do you always keep your dog on a leash during walks?
  • Has your dog completed any training?
  • Do you plan on spaying or neutering the dog?

If the potential renter owns a cat, here are some questions that you can ask them:

  • Does your cat have registration?
  • Do you use a litter box for your cat?
  • Do you plan to spay or neuter your cat?
  • Do you keep your cat indoors?

Some of the answers above will be provided for by the pet owner. We recommend that you also get in touch with the previous landlord in order to confirm their responses. This will not only ensure the safety of your property, but makes sure your other tenants are happy.

In-Person Meeting

In your plans for screening, you should also consider in-person meetings. While you might have prepared a comprehensive tenant screening questionnaire, there is no substitute for an in-person meeting.
a dog obeying a command on a carpet
However, you should be aware that there are some pets that can be quite aggressive and nervous when around new people. Their initial behavior should not be misconstrued for their everyday behavior. You can request for the help of a professional animal behaviorist during the in-person meeting, they can help you assess the true behavior of the animal.

Changes in the Lease Agreement

Now that you can appreciate the benefits of leasing to pet owners, you must make changes to your solid lease agreement. The terms of the pet screening must be one of the clauses in the lease agreement as well as the type of pets allowed on the rental unit.

Other clauses that should be introduced include:

  • Pet fees: Similar to rent, this amount is paid per month by the owner.
  • Pet security deposit: This is charged to protect your property from any possible damages by the pet.
  • Pet types: You should be specific on the type of pets that you allow for uniformity purposes.


Screening the pets on your property is a sure way of protecting your investment. You will be able to ascertain the pet’s behavior, health, and character. This will give your tenants a good experience since they will be compatible with one another.

Do you feel you lack the resources and experience to screen pets? Windermere Property Management is the company to rely on. We offer comprehensive property management solutions that can ensure you get the best return from your rental units.

Our property managers are the best in the industry; being well-trained, licensed, and experienced. With us as your property partners, you can be assured of a stress-free rental journey with no headaches. Get in touch with Windermere today for a quote!

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