Often, many landlords are somewhat hesitant to let pets to reside in a rental home. However, this does not need to be the situation when you learn why Bothell landlords ought to have a pet screening procedure in place you may be certain that you’re making a good choice.
At Real Property Management Eclipse, we ensure that the properties we have under our direction are equal opportunities housing, and we accommodate a huge variety of potential customers. However, it’s lesser known that although there are many types of residents, there’s also a massive variety of animals that are lawfully permitted on a rental home.
Under the Fair Housing Act and the American 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 even if you do not want to have pets on the rental 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.
It is important to understand this 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 procedures when allowing pets on your rental home would be to get the contact information of past landlords from your resident and make an animal reference call. These reference calls will give you a much better understanding or whether the animal ever caused damage to the house, disrupted the peace of neighbors, or caused additional problems.
This is definitely the most efficient approach to help guide you on your choice, without turning a possible resident off. Don’t be hesitant to rent to a resident with a medium or large sized dog as a result of unfounded fears. The big bully in your mind could turn out to be a huge teddy bear that does more to create your neighbors and citizens happy than annoyed.
Include Pet Riders in Lease Agreement
One other very important step to your pet screening procedure is including a pet rider in your lease agreement. This necessitates the animal’s presence on the property is equally understood and accounted for with regard to property damage. Many landlords will incorporate a pet addendum if their existing residents wish to get a pet as soon as they have transferred in, but it’s best to get a pet rider at the original document.
Some fundamental components the pet rider ought to 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 document makes sure that no additional pets could be added without your consent, and that the pet residing on the property is fit to be around other animals and residents of their neighborhood. This legal rider will make sure that if any curve-balls are thrown your way, it’s the obligation of the owner to make certain that the problems are managed properly.
Take Photos of Pet
Another vital step in the pet screening process is to take photos of the pet. Imagine the surprise you’d have when making a repair call and entering the property to perform only to discover that the small Chihuahua your resident signed to get is actually a Great Dane.
When you choose a photo that is a fast and easy method to record details regarding the same like the type of creature, its overall measurements and markings and any other important information regarding the pet will help ensure that one pet does not turn into three, and also a small dog does not end up becoming a much bigger problem
Do More Business
Finally, having a pet screening policy helps you do more business. While you might originally shy away from letting non-assistance animals on your property many possible residents search for single-family homes to rent over apartments based on owning a pet. You can even make extra money if you decide to charge a lease for the pet in addition to the residents monthly.
Often, pet owners can be more responsible than a normal resident. If they have taken the time to train their pet, then find appropriate care for their pet when they are gone and are disinclined to leave their pet because of rental policies then this may be the type of resident you would like on your premises. Even though this is not accurate for all pet owners, it is something to think about when screening both residents and animals.
If you rely on Real Property Management Eclipse for your property management services, you will find that we perform more than just react to repair calls. We help landlords and investment homeowners alike place responsible, compatible residents in your rental house and to make sure that all probable liabilities for pets are properly screened so that the leasing experience is a great one for both you and your residents.