Holding All Residents Accountable for Household Pets and Assistance Animals

Posted by John on Jan 10, 2019 2:00:00 PM
John

When it comes to pet policies, most property managers and housing providers strictly focus on the residents and applicants that willfully admit they own a pet or animal. Obviously, the goal is to make sure these residents and applicants are aware of management’s pet and animal policies. These policies are often addressed in the lease or an additional lease addendum and focus on things such as leashing rules, dog waste pick up, weight restrictions, age issues, breed exclusions, and more. This is a great first step but it leaves some questions unanswered.

  • What about the applicants that say they do not own a pet or animal but really do?

  • What about asking residents if they have a pet or animal at the time of a lease renewal?

  • What about a girlfriend or boyfriend that visits all the time and brings their pet or animal into your rental asset?

  • What about your maintenance team “spot” checking for a pet or animal during routine maintenance?

Let’s take a look at how PetScreening can help you cover each of the above scenarios and make sure all of your residents are held more accountable.   

Lying Applicants: PetScreening gives property managers and housing providers a way to ensure that all applicants, even ones claiming they do not own a pet or animal, are on record. When you use our screening service, we have a unique No Pet Profile that is created for anyone claiming they do not own a pet or animal. This is a free ($0) process for the applicant but it gives you a way to put your dog teeth into them, so to speak, if you catch them with an unauthorized pet or animal. You not only have a formal record that they have attested as not owning a pet or animal, but you can also submit an unauthorized pet incident report for that specific resident. This incident report follows this specific resident in perpetuity within the PetScreening database. If he/she surfaces elsewhere in the future, their next property manager or housing provider will be notified that he/she has a history of not following pet policies.

Lease Renewals:  We know that residents will start their lease without a pet but sometime during the lease they might adopt a pet or even receive a pet as a gift -- birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries, etc.! All PetScreening users are asked to renew their profile annually to revisit all the questions about owning a pet or animal. It is important to make sure every profile (No Pet Profile / Pet Profile / Animal Profile) is renewed prior to you signing a new lease. This holds the resident more accountable and protects you and your owner.

Pet Visiting / Sitting:  Pet sitting is on the rise as some residents consider pet sitting to be a side-business, and every property manager and housing provider has encountered a significant other who seems to spend a lot of time at your resident’s place. In cases when a boyfriend or girlfriend brings a pet along for the stay, then this qualifies as the current resident possessing an unauthorized pet. When you use PetScreening, all of our profiles specifically address that absolutely no pet sitting or visitation is allowed without the property manager’s prior consent. If you catch a resident pet sitting without your expressed and prior permission, you can submit an incident report so it goes on their PetScreening record. If you have an unauthorized pet clause with a monetary fine listed in your lease or pet addenda then you can levy the fine, too.

Maintenance Team’s Extra Eyes:  Your maintenance team and vendors can serve as another set of eyes for you when they make a service call. PetScreening gives you a way to electronically share each profile (No Pet Profile / Pet Profile / Animal Profile) with the maintenance work order. This way the service technician can see if the current resident is supposed to own a pet or animal before entering the residence. Not only will the technician know if there is supposed to be a pet or animal in the residence, but they can see the animal’s name, photos, size, breed, and more. PetScreening does not share the resident’s personal information or the FIDO ScoreTM; just relevant information about the pet or animal or lack thereof. If you find concrete evidence of a pet or animal, or perhaps a pet or animal that does not match the profile’s photos, then you can hold the resident accountable. If this happens, do not forget to submit a PetScreening incident report so the next property manager or housing provider will be notified.

As a property manager or housing provider, have you experienced any of these scenarios? PetScreening can help hold residents with or without pets more accountable in their rental properties while providing property managers and housing providers with an added layer of third-party liability protection against pet / animal related incidents. Woof!

Topics: Property Management, Pet Screening