A frequent concern for most landlords is if they should allow pets to live in a rental house. While it can look like an overwhelming choice initially, find out why Marina del Rey landlords should have a pet screening procedure in place, allowing them to rest easy knowing they’ve made an informed choice.
At Real Property Management California Coast, we’re an equal opportunity housing business, thus we don’t discriminate against prospective customers in the selection and screening procedure. While many landlords know they cannot discriminate against prospective residents, they often aren’t aware that many of these very same rules go for animals too.
Under the Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, assistance and service animals are allowed to be on any property provided that they’re enrolled as a service animal for a handicap, which is characterized by the FHA as “a physical or mental impairment which significantly limits a person’s major life activities.”
Before you inform a resident they’re not permitted to have pets, you are still required to give “reasonable accommodation” to residents with support animal. Service animals administered by the ADA are lawfully allowed anywhere and are defined as a dog or miniature horse that has been trained to do work to execute tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability.
Don’t confuse a pet with a service or support animal because you may end up in an unwanted legal situation. Using an extensive pet screening procedure set up you’ll have the ability to figure out if the animal is, in fact, a support or service animal and behave appropriately to law.
Contact Past Landlords
Calling the references is a somewhat common practice when viewing residents, which really is a tool that can be utilized to determine if a pet is going to be a good fit for the rental property. By inquiring about the animal’s behavior, if it disturbed the peace and generally the way the past landlord enjoyed it, then you can gain a lot of valuable information without outright saying no to a resident’s request for a pet.
Don’t be scared to lease to a resident using a medium or large sized dog due to unfounded fears. The big bully in your mind could truly be a big teddy bear which does more to make your residents and neighbors happy than annoyed.
Include Pet Riders in Lease Agreement
Furthermore, a very important step to your pet screening process is including a pet rider on your rental agreement. This ensures that the creature’s existence in the house is both understood and accounted for with regard to property damage. Some landlords will incorporate a pet addendum if their existing residents want to get a pet after they’ve moved in, but it’s ideal to have a pet rider in the original document.
Some fundamental components 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
Using this legally binding document, you’re assured that no extra pets could be inserted without your permission and that the pet living in the house is fit to be around other animals and residents of this area. This lawful rider will make sure that when any curve-balls are thrown away, it’s the obligation of the proprietor to make certain that the problems are managed correctly.
Take Photos of Pet
Another important step in your pet screening procedure is to take photos of their pet. Don’t be caught off guard the next time you visit the property and come to find that the little Chihuahua that your resident signed for is really a Great Dane.
By taking a photograph you’re effectively recording details like the type of creature, its overall dimensions, and markings, as well as any other significant info about the pet, can make sure that one pet doesn’t become three, and a small dog does not 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 originally shy away from letting non-assistance creatures on your property many possible residents search for single-family-homes to lease over flats based on having a pet. You can possibly even earn more money by charging a fee per month to get a pet.
Pet owners are often more responsible than your average resident. Should they have taken the time to train their pet, find proper care for their pet when they are gone, and are disinclined to leave their pet because of leasing coverages then this may be the kind of resident that you want on your property. Even though this is not true for all pet owners, it’s something to consider when screening both residents and animals.
When you rely on Real Property Management California Coast 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.
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.