Many landlords are concerned about allowing pets to live on a rental property. But when you learn why Simi Valley landlords should have a pet screening process in place you can rest assured that you are making a fantastic decision.
At Real Property Management Ventura County, we guarantee that the properties that we handle are equal opportunity housing, and offer housing to an array of potential customers. But many landlords do not know that just like there are many types of residents, there’s also a variety of animals that are allowed on the property by legislation.
Under the Fair Housing Act and the American with Disabilities Act, assistance and support animals are allowed on any property if they’re enrolled as a service creature for a handicap, which is characterized by the FHA as “a physical or mental impairment which significantly limits an individual’s major life activities.”
So even in the event that you’ve told residents, they are not permitted to own pets on your house, you are still required to give “reasonable accommodation” to occupants with service animals. Service animals administered from the ADA are lawfully permitted anywhere and are described as a dog or miniature horse that’s been trained to do work to execute tasks for the sake of someone with a disability.
This is an important differentiation to make as you don’t want to wind up trapped in a legal matter by turning away a resident as well as their support or support animal by confusing it with a pet. But by using a screening procedure in place you’ll be able to ascertain if it’s 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 very best screening tips when allowing pets in your rental property would be to contact past landlords, pets can have references, also. This will give you a much better understanding as to if the animal ever caused harm to the house, disturbed the peace of neighbors, or caused any other problems.
This is a quick and easy way to help guide you in your choice, without turning a possible resident away. Don’t be scared to lease to a resident with a medium or large sized dog as a result of unfounded fears. The big thing in your thoughts could truly be a big teddy bear that does more to make your residents and neighbors happy than annoyed.
Include Pet Riders in Lease Agreement
Another vital step in your pet screening process is including a pet rider in your rental agreement. This ensures that the animal’s presence in the house is equally understood, also accounted for in terms of property damage. Some landlords will add a pet addendum if their current residents wish to obtain a pet as soon as they have transferred in, but it’s ideal to get a pet rider at the initial document.
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 makes sure that no additional pets can be added without your approval, which the pet residing in the house is fit to be around other animals and residents of the area. This lawful counsel will ensure that when any curve-balls are thrown away, it’s the obligation of the owner to ensure that the problems are handled properly.
Take Photos of Pet
Another important step in your pet screening procedure is to take photos of the pet. Imagine the surprise you would have when making an entry on a property to do maintenance just to find that the little Chihuahua your resident signed for is really a Great Dane.
By taking a photo, and documenting details such as the type of creature, its overall measurements and markings and any other important info about the pet will help ensure that one pet does not turn to three, and a little dog doesn’t wind up being a much larger problem.
Do More Business
Finally, having a pet screening policy makes it possible to do more business. As you might initially shy away from letting non-assistance creatures on your property many potential occupants look for single-family-homes to rent over apartments based on having a pet. You can even make additional money if you choose to charge pet rent that the resident must pay each month.
Furthermore, pet-owners are often more responsible than your average resident. If they’ve taken the opportunity to train their pet, find appropriate care for their pet when they are gone and are disinclined to leave their pet due to rental coverages then this may be the kind of resident that you want on your premises. Even though this isn’t accurate for all pet owners, it is something to think about when screening both occupants and animals.
If you rely on Real Property Management Ventura County to your property management services, we perform more than just respond to mend calls. We assist landlords and investment homeowners alike to put accountable, compatible residents in your rental house and to ensure that all probable liabilities for example pets are properly screened so the rental experience is a good one for both you and your occupants.
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.