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Why Osprey Landlords Should Have a Pet Screening Procedure

Many landlords are concerned about allowing pets to live in a rental house. But when you understand why Osprey landlords ought to have a pet screening process in place you may be certain that you’re making a good choice. 

Assistance/Service Animals 

At Real Property Management Sarasota & Manatee, we ensure that the properties we manage are equal opportunity housing, and offer our services to a wide variety of potential customers. However, many landlords don’t understand 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 permitted on any property if they’re enrolled as service animals for a handicap, 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 they are not allowed to own pets, you’re still required to give “reasonable accommodation” to residents with service and assistance animals. Service animals as defined by the ADA are legally allowed anywhere and are described as a dog or miniature horse that has been trained to perform work to execute tasks for the benefit of someone with a handicap.

This is a significant differentiation to make as you don’t want to find yourself caught up in a legal matter by turning away a resident and their assistance or support animal by confusing it with a pet. But by using a screening process in place you’ll be able to ascertain if it is an assistance animal by asking for documentation from a physician or therapist who admits the residents’ creature 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 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 

One way to think ahead about allowing pets on your property would be to include a pet rider in your initial lease agreement. This ensures that the animal’s presences on the property is known, and accounted for with regard to property damage. Some landlords will incorporate a pet addendum if their current residents want to get a pet after they have moved in.

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 

Having a legally binding document ensures that no additional pets can be added without your consent, and that the pet residing on the property is fit to be around other animals and residents of the neighborhood. This legal rider will ensure that if any curve-balls are thrown your way, it is the responsibility of the owner to ensure that the issues are handled properly. 

Take Photos of Pet 

Another important step in the pet screening process is to take photos of the pet. Imagine the surprise you would have when making entry on a property to perform maintenance only to discover that the small Chihuahua that your resident signed for is actually a Great Dane.  

By taking a photo, and recording details such as the type of animal, its general measurements and markings and any other important information about the pet will help ensure that one pet doesn’t turn into three, and a small dog doesn’t end up being a much larger issue. 

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 Sarasota & Manatee for your property management services we do more than just respond to repair calls. We assist landlords and investment homeowners alike to put responsible, compatible residents in your rental property and to ensure that all possible liabilities such as pets are properly screened so that 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 Real Property Management Sarasota & Manatee to learn more about our services.  



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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