Is Pet Tenant Screening the Future of Rental Housing?

The debate on whether or not to allow pets in rental housing is always ongoing, and there are certainly arguments for both sides. It seems like everyone has their own opinion, and they’re steadfast in their belief. However, as resident pet tenant screening become more advanced, could this new form of verification be the turning point?

Even if you allow pets in your property, it’s hard to tell which animal won’t cause your rental – or the people around it – any harm. While meeting the animal before allowing the residents to move in is always a good idea, a pet being friendly in one instance doesn’t mean that it has a perfect temperament. The residents themselves also play a factor in the animal’s demeanor, and you can’t always tell if they’re a diligent owner right away. But what do you do? Allowing pets can be a bit of a gamble, but pet screening is aiming to change that.

The concept of background checks for pets in rental housing can be a little confusing, as you can’t very well include an applicant’s pet when you process the tenant screening. What these services offer is essentially a comprehensive background of the pet, from vet records to behavioral certificates and more. While pet owners submit this information to the company, such as PetScreening, a team of reviewers goes over the information to ensure that it is correct and up-to-date. Accounts are then assigned a “FIDO” score (not to be confused with the FICO risk score), which tells you how risky this pet would be to your property and those around it.

This type of service has, so far, demonstrated some potential benefits for property managers and those who connect renters with rental properties. When doing their review, companies look into the validity of those that claim to have a service animal so that you don’t accept someone attempting to deceive you. Pet background checks provide you more objective knowledge about the animal than you will typically get from a simple meeting, allowing you to feel better about having the animal in your property. The service is also typically free for property managers, which means it never hurts to look into it.

Accepting pets into your property can be a risk, as many property managers know all too well. With the introduction of pet screening, new information is available to property owners that they couldn’t get before. Does it remove all risk from the equation? Absolutely not. But it does give you a better sense of what kind of animal you’re dealing with, which may put you a little more at ease. Overall the most important thing in accepting a pet is knowing that it has a responsible owner, as that can make all the difference.

How do You Handle Screening Pets?


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