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Why Fargo Landlords Should Have a Pet Screening Procedure

**This article was updated on February 17, 2021.

Woman playing with her dogs in her Fargo apartmentA frequent concern for many landlords is allowing pets to reside in a rental house. While it can look like an overwhelming choice initially, find out why Fargo landlords ought to have a pet screening procedure in place; that way, you’ll be able to rest easy knowing you have made a fantastic decision.

Assistance/Service Animals

At Real Property Management Optimum, we’re an equal opportunity housing business. Thus we do not discriminate against potential customers in the selection and screening procedure. Most landlords understand that they can’t discriminate against residents. However, they often aren’t aware that many of these same rules go for animals.

Under the Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, support and support animals can be on any property if they are enrolled as service animals for a disability. The FHS defines a disability as “a physical or mental impairment which significantly limits a person’s major life activities.”

Before you tell a resident that they cannot have pets, you must provide “reasonable accommodation” to residents with support animals. Service animals administered by the ADA are lawfully permitted anywhere.

Don’t confuse a pet with a service or support animal, as you might find yourself in an undesirable legal circumstance. By having an extensive pet screening procedure in place, you’ll be able to determine whether the creature is a support or service animal and act appropriately to the law.

Contact Past Landlords

Calling the references is a fairly common practice when screening residents and is also a tool to determine if a pet will be a fantastic fit for the rental property. Asking about the animal’s behavior, if it ever disturbed the serenity, and generally how the past landlord liked it. By doing so, you can gain a lot of valuable advice without outright saying no.

Do not let unfounded fears get in the way of leasing to a resident with a moderate or large dog. The big bully in your thoughts could, in reality, be a big teddy bear.

Include Pet Riders in Lease Agreement

A crucial step to your pet screening procedure is as a pet rider on your rental agreement. This makes sure that the animal’s existence in the house is equally understood and accounted for regarding property damage. Some landlords may incorporate a pet addendum if their existing residents wish to obtain a pet as soon as they’ve transferred in, but it’s ideal for getting a pet rider at the initial 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 can charge a fee 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 the resident include the type of vaccination and date.

By having this legally binding document, you ensure that no extra pets are permitted without your knowledge, and that the pet living in the house is fit to be around other animals and residents.

Take Photos of Pet

Another critical step in the pet screening process is to take photographs of their pet. Imagine the surprise you would have to discover that the small Chihuahua your resident signed for is a Great Dane.

By taking a photograph, you’re efficiently recording details like the kind of animal, its general size and markings, and any other significant info concerning the pet can help ensure that one pet does not turn into three, and a small dog doesn’t wind up being a much larger problem.

Do More Business

Finally, having a pet screening policy helps you do more business. As you might originally shy away from letting non-assistance animals on your house, many potential residents search for single-family-homes to lease over flats based on having a pet. You can even earn more money by charging a fee a month to get a pet.

Pet owners are often more responsible than your typical resident. While this is not accurate for many pet owners, it is something to think about during screening.

When you rely on Real Property Management Optimum for your property management services, we do more than respond to repair calls. We assist landlords and investment homeowners alike to put responsible, compatible residents in your rental property and ensure that all possible liabilities such as pets are appropriately screened. 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 612-730-8293 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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