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Screening Tenants for Pets

After reviewing the pros and cons of allowing pets in your multifamily property, you may have decided that the increased revenue and attracting and retaining more tenants outweighs the cons.  To attract the right type of pet owner, you will need to screen your tenants to ensure that they are responsible and that their pets will not damage your building.  As the premier agent for apartment buildings for sale in British Columbia, here is an outline of how to screen your tenants and their pets.


Before even beginning to screen your tenant, you may want to think about placing restrictions on what type of pets you will and will not allow into your multifamily property.  These restrictions can include:

  • Size of dog.
  • Dog breeds – such as pit bulls or other perceived aggressive dog breeds.
  • The number of pets allowed in one suite.

By placing restrictions on your tenants and monitoring the type and number of pets that are allowed, you may save yourself a lot of problems down the road.

Create a list of Questions

A thorough screening starts by asking the right questions.  Some important questions that you should ask a possible tenant include:

  • How many pets do you own?
  • What is the pet’s breed and its size?
  • What is the age of your pet?
  • How long have you owned your pet?
  • Does your pet have its updated shots and vaccines?
  • Is your pet fixed?
  • Has your pet ever acted aggressively towards other animals or people?
  • Is your pet trained?

By getting answers to these questions, you will be in a better position to decide if this is a tenant and pet that you want in your multifamily building.

Identifying a Responsible Pet Owner

Besides asking pertinent questions about the pet, there are other ways to identify a responsible pet owner.  When meeting the owner, be sure to watch their body language and whether their pet listens to them and how friendly the pet is to strangers (you).

Here’s the Deal:

Before making any final decision about the tenant, remember to contact references and ask them the same questions as you asked the tenant.  You should also check with prior landlords, verify their income and place of employment and do a credit and background check.

Creating a Lease

Once you feel that you have thoroughly screened a tenant, it is time to create a lease.  When presenting a lease, it is important to address the following points:

  • Rent amount.
  • Pet damage deposit amount.
  • Nonrefundable pet fee.
  • Require renter’s insurance from the tenant to cover any damages or other problems such as dog bites.
  • Other pet rules such as picking up after their pet and disposing of waste in outdoor garbage bins only.

By screening and protecting yourself and the other tenants in a lease, you should be able to enjoy the pros that being a pet friendly multifamily property brings.  If you would like more information on how to create and implement a screening process for your property or are interested in some of the great multifamily investment opportunities that are available in and around the province, please contact me today.  I look forward to hearing from you soon.