Pet Screening in Paradise: How Vetting Pets Protects Your Waikoloa Investment
27 September 2019
Hawaiian Dream Properties
To allow pets or not to allow pets?
It's an issue that plagues many landlords in beautiful Waikoloa. If you’re not a “pet person,” you might not want to deal with the problems that come with many pets:
Fur, aka "deep cleaning required."
However, if you understand how pets can be a valuable asset to help you get the most out of your rental property, you might consider allowing pets for the greater good of your investment.
Accepting pets doesn’t mean you have to allow all pets. The pet-screening process is your tool to keep pet damage to a minimum and ensure the pets (and owners) in your property are responsible. Here’s what you need to know from the perspective of a professional property manager on the Big Island.
1. Pets Can Help "Foster" Success
Many property managers can confirm that pets are worth your consideration. Pets often come with owners who tend to be excellent tenants.
Many pet owners deal with the difficulty of finding a rental property that will accept their pets. Once they find a pet-friendly home, they’ll want to stay as long as they can to avoid the hassle of finding a new place at the end of their lease. You want the best tenants in your properties—whether they come with pets or not. Quality tenants pay the rent on time, take good care of your property (even with pets in the house), and renew their lease because they know they’re already home.
While it takes some work to find the right pet-tenant combo, it’s worth the effort to open your Waikoloa property to pet owners. You might find that it brings a good tenant who renews their lease! This is why pet screening is so important.
2. Pet Screening Helps Protect Your Property
Before you accept an excellent potential tenant with a questionable pet, "adopt" a pet-screening process. Much like screening tenants before allowing them into your Waikoloa property, you need to know everything about a pet before placing them in your rental home. Especially when your rental home will eventually be your retirement home!
Pet screening allows you to outline the types of pets you will and won’t accept in your property. Your approval process requires pet owners to provide background information on the pet before you decide if it meets your criteria.
You Decide Your Pet Preferences
You’re the landlord. You can choose to exclude certain breeds or sizes of animals from your rental property. If you don’t want:
100-pound Great Danes
Living in your property, make sure your screening criteria outlines those exclusions. However, be sure to set your criteria before you begin screening pets.
Landlords must be careful to avoid any discriminatory practices when screening tenants. This includes denying a tenant based on unfair scrutiny of a specific pet. It may be construed as bias against a tenant. The last thing you want to have to deal when owning a long-distance investment is a legal dispute.
What You Need for Pet-Screening Purr-Poses
After you set your criteria, you’ll need the pet owner to provide an application with the following information:
The pet’s name
The pet's breed, gender, and age
Prior addresses where the owner has lived with the pet (up to two years of history is best)
The pet's weight
Any vet history (vet contact information, records of exams, vaccinations, and additional treatments)
The pet’s behavior history
Were there noise complaints?
Has the animal been reported for a bite or attack?
Confirmation that the pet is house trained
Once you have this information, verify all of it. Contact the vet and confirm the pet’s health records. Reach out to prior landlords and confirm the pet had no issues while living in their property. All of this serves to keep your Hawaiian dream in pristine condition.
When a Pet Passes the Screening
When you find a pet owner with a perfect pet for your property, there’s a little more paperwork to do:
Add a Pet Addendum to the lease agreement. This document outlines the pet owner’s responsibilities for keeping a pet in your Waikoloa property. The addendum must also include the consequences for failing to comply with the pet instructions.
Collect a pet deposit. This is in addition to the security deposit for living in the rental home. The pet deposit covers any damage caused by the pet. It also helps offset the costs of deep cleaning that's specific to removing traces of a pet in your property after a tenant leaves. This helps prepare the property for the next tenant while ensuring you have a beautiful home to retire to in the future.
Hawaiian Dream Property Managers Are Pet-Placement Professionals!
The bond between a pet and its owner is strong. If you don’t own pets, it can be challenging to understand the commitments a pet owner will make to provide a safe home for their beloved companion.
You don’t have to deal with pets to allow them in your property! At Hawaiian Dream Properties, we how beneficial it can be to open your pool of potential renters to people with pets. We handle the application and screening process for pets and their owners, and we are masters at managing a long-distance investment. Many of our owner-partners live abroad, and rely on us to ensure their properties are care for to the highest standard.
If you’re ready to consider allowing pets into your piece of paradise, let us know! We’ll handle it for you, regardless of where you currently call home.
Ready to start building your Hawaiian Dream? Get started with a free rental analysis.