Many landlords are concerned about allowing pets to live in a rental house. But when you understand why Pasadena landlords ought to have a pet screening process in place you may be certain that you’re making a good choice.
At Real Property Management East San Gabriel Valley, we guarantee that the properties that we manage are equal opportunity homes, and accommodate a huge variety of possible clients. However, many landlords do not know that just like there are many sorts of residents, there’s also a variety of animals that are allowed on the property by law.
Under the Fair Housing Act and the American with Disabilities Act, assistance, and support animals are allowed on the property if they’re enrolled as a service animal for a disability, which is characterized from the FHA as “a physical or mental impairment which significantly limits an individual’s major life activities.”
So even if you have told residents that they are not permitted to own pets on your property, you are still 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.
This is an important differentiation to make as you do not want to find yourself caught up in 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 is to contact past landlords, pets can have references, too. This will give you a better understanding of whether the animal ever caused damage to the property, disturbed the peace of neighbors, or caused any other problems.
This is a fast and easy way to help guide you in your decision, without turning a potential resident away. Don’t be afraid to lease to a resident with a medium or large sized dog due to unfounded fears. The big bully in your mind could really be a big teddy bear that does more to make your residents and neighbors happy than annoyed.
Include Pet Riders in Lease Agreement
Another vital step to your pet screening procedure is including a pet rider on your rental agreement. This ensures that the animal’s presence in the house is accounted for with regard to property damage. Some landlords will add a pet addendum in case their current residents want to obtain a pet after they’ve moved in, but it’s best to have a pet rider at the original document.
Some basic elements that the pet rider should 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
Possessing a legally binding rider makes sure that no extra pets could be added without your approval, determines if the pet living in the house is fit to be around other animals and inhabitants of the area. This lawful counsel will make sure that when any curve-balls are thrown your way, it’s the obligation of the proprietor to make certain that the problems are managed correctly.
Take Photos of Pet
Another important step in your pet screening process is to take photographs of the pet. Imagine the surprise you’d have when entering a house to do maintenance just to find that the little Chihuahua your resident signed for is really 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, will help ensure that one pet doesn’t turn into three, and a small dog doesn’t wind up being a much larger problem.
Do More Business
Finally, having a pet screening procedure makes it possible to do more business. As you might originally shy away from letting non-assistance/service animals in your property many potential occupants search for single-family homes to rent over apartment or townhomes based on having a pet. You could even make extra money if you decide to control pet rent the resident has to pay every month.
Furthermore, pet owners are frequently more accountable than your normal resident. Should they’ve taken the opportunity to train their pet, then find proper care for their pet when they’re gone and are disinclined to leave their pet because of rental coverages then this may be the kind of resident that you would like on your premises. Even though this isn’t accurate for many pet owners, it’s something to think about when screening both occupants and creatures.
When you rely on Real Property Management East San Gabriel Valley to your property management solutions, we do more than just react to repair calls. We help landlords and investment homeowners alike to put accountable, compatible residents in your rental house and to ensure that all probable liabilities such as pets are appropriately screened so that the leasing experience is a great one for both you and your occupants.
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.