Property Management Blog

Why Pet Screening Is Always A Good Idea

System - Thursday, April 25, 2024
Property Management Blog

Pet ownership is widespread in the United States, with millions of households welcoming furry companions into their homes. As a landlord, understanding the significance of implementing a pet screening program is essential to maintaining the integrity of your rental property.

Understandably, adding a pet screening process might worry you, but it helps your rental income significantly. After all, keeping your tenants happy is as important as keeping your property in good shape.

This article by SGI Property Management Phoenix explores the importance of pet screening and its role in fostering a harmonious landlord-tenant relationship.

Advantages of Embracing Pet-Friendly Policies in Rental Properties

Allowing pets can significantly broaden the pool of potential tenants for your rental property. Pet-friendly accommodations attract responsible pet owners who often demonstrate greater loyalty and longer tenancy. 

Embracing pet-friendly policies can lead to decreased vacancy rates and increased rental income over time.

1. Exploring Pet Screening

Pet screening is a comprehensive process designed to assess the suitability of pets for rental properties. It involves several key components such as a questionnaire, a face-to-face evaluation, and a review of relevant documentation. 

This helps landlords know if the pet will be happy and safe in their home, ensuring a good match between the pet and the rental property.

2. Questionnaire for Pet Screening Application

For dogs: The questionnaire may inquire about the dog's breed, size, behavior, and vaccination status. 


For cats: Similarly, the questionnaire may address the cat's behavior, litter box habits, and vaccination records.

3. Face-to-Face Evaluation

Meeting the pet and its owner allows you to observe the pet's behavior firsthand and address any concerns or inquiries. It is important because it lets you make sure the pet is a good fit for the property. 

You can check if the pet matches what the owner said in the questionnaire. Overall, this evaluation helps you make sure the property stays safe and happy for everyone.

4. Professional Pet Screening Services

Some landlords may choose to use professional pet screening services, which provide comprehensive evaluations and recommendations based on the pet's history and behavior. 

The services from professional pet screening include submission of pet information, documentation verification, behavioral assessment, recommendations, and comprehensive reports.

5. Advantages of Pet Screening Services 

Pet screening helps you find good pet owners and pets, so you do not damage the property. It checks pets' behavior and training to prevent chewing, scratching, or other problems. 

It encourages pet owners to take good care of their pets by asking for vaccination records and training proof. Using professional pet screening services makes the process easier for you, saving your time and effort.

Pet Provisions in Lease Agreements

Establishing clear pet clauses in lease agreements is crucial for setting expectations and minimizing potential conflicts. 


The clause shall cover at least these key aspects: the chosen screening method, permitted pet types, details of associated fees and deposits related to the pet policy, handling service and emotional support animals, and protocols for pet removal notices.

1. Pet-Screening Methods 

There are several pet-screening methods you can use to assess the suitability of pets for rental properties which are already mentioned above such as questionnaires, in-person meetings, and professional pet screening services. 

2. Types of Pets to Screen and Frequency 

All pets intending to reside on the property must undergo screening, including dogs, cats, and other common household pets. Screening must occur before move-in and periodically throughout the lease term to ensure updated records and ongoing compliance.

3. Managing Fees and Deposits

Determining reasonable pet fees or deposits helps cover potential damages and maintenance costs associated with pet-friendly accommodations, providing you with financial protection. To manage fees and deposits from tenants with pets, you shall: 

  • Set clear rules in the lease

  • Decide fair charges for pets

  • Tell tenants about fees and deposits upfront

  • Be consistent with all tenants

  • Consider using a pet screening process

  • Explain rules clearly to tenants

4. Handling Service and Emotional Support Animals

While service and emotional support animals are exempt from traditional pet screening, you may request documentation to verify their legitimacy and ensure compliance with fair housing laws.

5. Protocols for Pet Removal Notices 

In cases of pet-related disturbances or lease violations, you must reserve the right to issue notices for pet removal, emphasizing the importance of enforcing pet policies consistently.


Initiating the Pet-Screening Process

Implementing a pet screening program requires proactive communication with tenants and clear guidelines outlined in lease agreements. To start pet-screening services, you must first find a good provider and get in touch with them to discuss their needs. 

Partnering with SGI Property Management Phoenix can facilitate this process, offering you professional assistance and expertise in navigating pet screening procedures.

Then, set up an account with the provider and customize their screening criteria based on their property's rules. You need to let your tenants know about the pet-screening process and what's required. 

Once tenants submit information about their pets, you review it to decide if the pets are suitable for their properties. They use the information provided by the provider to make informed decisions and implement pet policies accordingly, ensuring a smooth and fair process for everyone involved.

Bottom Line

Pet screening is vital for rental property management, ensuring property integrity and fostering tenant harmony and community. Collaborating with SGI Property Management Phoenix provides landlords access to expertise and resources for optimized pet-friendly policies. 

SGI offers comprehensive screening beyond paperwork, evaluating pet temperament, behavior, and suitability through in-person meetings, ensuring informed decision-making. They streamline the process, saving time and ensuring accuracy, thus minimizing errors.

Additionally, SGI educates tenants on pet responsibilities, promoting compliance and respect among pet and non-pet owners. Their ongoing support aids landlords in policy implementation and enforcement, enhancing communication and adherence. 

Partnering with SGI empowers landlords to confidently embrace pet-friendly environments, safeguarding investments and nurturing positive rental experiences. Effective pet screening, coupled with responsible pet ownership promotion, fosters a welcoming and successful rental community.