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Why Baton Rouge Landlords Should Have a Pet Screening Procedure

Two Happy Baton Rouge Residents with their Cute DogMany landlords are concerned about allowing pets to live in a rental house. However, when you understand why Baton Rouge landlords ought to have a pet screening procedure in place you may rest assured that you are making the right choice when concerning allowing pets on the property.

Assistance/Service Animals

At Real Property Management Baton Rouge, we ensure that the properties we manage are equal opportunity housing, and work with a variety of potential clients. However, many landlords don’t know that just like there are various kinds of residents, there’s also a variety of animals that are permitted on the property by law.

Under the Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, support and service animals are allowed on any property if they are registered as a support animal for a disability, which is characterized by the FHA as “a physical or mental impairment which significantly limits a person’s major life activities”.

So even if you’ve told residents they’re not permitted to own pets, you’re still required to provide “reasonable accommodation” to residents with support animals. Service animals administered by the ADA are lawfully permitted anywhere and are defined as a puppy or mini horse that has been trained to perform work to perform tasks for the sake of someone with a handicap.

This is a significant distinction to make as you do not wish to wind up caught up in a legal matter by turning away a resident and their help or support animal by confusing it with a pet. However, by having a screening process in place you’ll be able to ascertain if it is an assistance animal by asking for documentation from a doctor or therapist that admits that the residents’ creature is an assistance animal.

Contact Past Landlords

Among the very best screening processes when allowing pets on your rental property would be to contact past landlords, and ask questions about the pet and gain references. This will offer you a better understanding as to if the animal ever caused damage to the property, disturbed the peace of neighbors, or caused any other issues.

This is a fast and effortless method to help steer you in your choice, without turning a potential resident away. 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 thoughts could truly be a big teddy bear that does more to create your residents and neighbors happy than annoyed.

Include Pet Riders in Lease Agreement

Another vital step in your pet screening procedure is including a pet rider in your lease agreement. This ensures that the pet’s presence on the property is both understood, also accounted for in terms of property damage. Some landlords may add a pet addendum if their current residents wish to get a pet as soon as they have moved in, but it’s ideal to get a pet rider in the original document.

Some basic elements that the pet rider ought to include are:

  • Pet details: breed, color, gender, age, and weight
  • Pet fee: if it is not an assistance animal, you can 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

Possessing a legally binding document makes sure that no extra pets could be added without your permission, and the pet living in the house is fit to be around other animals and residents of their 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

Equally as important in the pet screening procedure is to take photos of the pet.  Imagine the surprise you would have when entering a property to perform maintenance just to discover that the little Chihuahua your resident signed to get is actually a Great Dane.

By taking a photo, and documenting details like the kind of creature, its overall dimensions and markings and any other significant information regarding the pet will make sure that one pet doesn’t become three, and also a little dog doesn’t end up being a much bigger problem.

Do More Business

Finally, having a pet screening coverage makes it possible to do more business. While you might initially shy away from allowing non-assistance animals on your property many possible residents search for single-family homes to rent over flats based on owning a pet. You can also make extra money if you choose to charge a pet fee that the resident must pay every month.

Additionally, pet owners are often more accountable than your average resident. If the potential resident has taken the time to train their pet, then find appropriate care for their pet when they are gone and are disinclined to leave their pet due to rental policies then this may be the kind of resident you would like on your property. Even though this isn’t true for all pet owners, it is something to consider when screening both residents and creatures.

When you rely on Real Property Management Baton Rouge 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 us online or call us at 225-389-6860 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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