Many landlords are concerned about allowing pets to live on their rental property. But when you understand why Melbourne landlords should have a pet screening procedure in place you may be certain that you’re making a fantastic decision.
At Real Property Management Brevard, we ensure that the properties we manage are equal opportunity housing, and offer our services to a wide variety of potential customers. However, many landlords don’t understand that just like there are many sorts of residents, there’s also a variety of animals that are allowed on the property by law.
Under the Fair Housing Act and the American with Disabilities Act, assistance, and support animals are permitted on any property if they’re enrolled as service animals for a handicap, which is characterized from the FHA as “a physical or mental impairment which significantly limits an individual’s major life activities”.
So even if you have told residents they are not allowed to own pets, you’re still required to give “reasonable accommodation” to residents with service and assistance animals. Service animals as defined by the ADA are legally allowed anywhere and are described as a dog or miniature horse that has been trained to perform work to execute tasks for the benefit of someone with a handicap.
This is a significant differentiation to make as you don’t want to find yourself caught up in a legal matter by turning away a resident and their assistance or support animal by confusing it with a pet. But by using a screening process in place you’ll be able to ascertain if it is an assistance animal by asking for documentation from a physician or therapist who admits the residents’ creature is an assistance animal.
Contact Past Landlords
One of the very best screening hints if allowing pets in your rental property is to contact past landlords, pets may get references, also. This will give you a better understanding of whether the creature ever caused harm to the house, disturbed the peace of neighbors, or caused some other problems.
This is a quick and easy method to help steer you in your choice, without turning a potential resident off. Do not be scared to lease to a resident using a moderate or large sized dog as a result of unfounded fears. The big bully in your mind could truly be a large teddy bear that does more to make your residents and neighbors happy than annoyed.
Include Pet Riders in Lease Agreement
One way to think ahead about allowing pets on your property would be to include a pet rider in your initial lease agreement. This ensures that the animal’s presences on the property is known, and accounted for with regard to property damage. Some landlords will incorporate a pet addendum if their current residents want to get a pet after they have moved in.
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 ensures that no extra pets could be added without your approval, which the pet residing on the property is fit to be around other animals and residents of the neighborhood. This lawful counsel will make sure that when any curve-balls are thrown away, it is the obligation of the owner to make certain that the issues are managed properly.
Take Photos of Pet
Another important step in your pet screening process is to take photos of their pet. Imagine the surprise you would have when visiting the rental property to perform basic maintenance tasks to find that the small Chihuahua your resident signed for is actually a Great Dane.
By taking a photograph, and recording details like the kind of animals, its overall measurements, and markings, as well as any other important information about the pet, will help ensure that pet does not turn into three, and also a little dog does not wind up being a much larger issue.
Do More Business
Finally, having a pet screening policy helps you do more business. While you might originally shy away from letting non-assistance animals on your property many potential occupants look for single-family-homes to rent over flats based on having a pet. You can also make extra money if you decide to charge pet rent the gardener has to pay each month.
Additionally, pet-owners are frequently more responsible than your average resident. Should they have taken the opportunity to train their pet, then find appropriate care for their pet when they are gone and are not willing to leave their pet because of rental policies then this might be the kind of resident you want on your property. Even though this is not true for all pet owners, it is something to consider when screening both residents and animals.
If you rely on Real Property Management Brevard for your property management services we perform more than simply respond to repair calls. We help landlords and investment homeowners alike to put responsible, compatible residents on your rental house and to make sure that all possible obligations for example pets are appropriately screened so that the leasing experience is a great one for both you and your residents.