Tenant screening is an important part of the property leasing process. It allows you as a property owner to choose a reliable and dependable tenant who has the financial capabilities to pay rent and also comply with the regulations of your property. The same could be said of pet screening.

More and more individuals and families are taking up ownership of pets. As a result, more renters are looking for a pet-friendly property as their next home.

Is opening up your rental unit to pet owners the right choice? It can be a risky endeavor, but a profitable venture if done right. 

Read on to learn our best tips for screening pets to ensure you welcome well behaved and respectful animals into your rental. 

Why Consider Pets in Your Rental Unit?

There are many benefits to welcoming pets in your rental unit. We have outlined a few of them for you below:

Long-Term Tenancy

Many property owners are against pets on their property due to the hassle they can bring. Therefore, once a pet owner finds a good pet-friendly property, they will be willing to commit long-term to it.

By renting to tenants with pets, you are securing long-term residents who will treat your property with respect. 

Niche Market

Opening up your property to pets means that you are entering a niche market. Since not many landlords will want to rent to tenants with pets, you can raise the rent slightly above average to accommodate this amenity. 

a child and a dog laying in bed

By simply allowing pets in your rental unit, you are increasing the value of your property to potential tenants. 

Responsible Tenants

Every landlord wants a responsible tenant leasing their premises.  Pet owners are known for being responsible and dedicated to their pets. They must care for their animal, and part of this is ensuring their pet has a safe and comfortable home. 

What Is Pet Screening?

Similar to tenant screening, pet screening involves assessing the character, health, and behavior of an animal in order to try and obtain long term tenants. You will be relying on the owner and veterinarian to provide you with this information.

There are several ways that you can collect the information directly from a pet; either in-person, via a questionnaire, or using screening documentation.

Use of a Questionnaire

The use of a questionnaire is a good way to get the ball rolling. It can serve as a first step of the screening process before seeing the pet in person. Here are a few questions that you can use as part of the questionnaire:

  • What type of animal is your pet?
  •  What is the weight and age of your pet?
  • How many years have you had your pet?
  • Has your pet been vaccinated? Do you have proof of vaccination?
  • Who is your usual vet? Can they confirm that the animal is in good condition?
  • Has anybody ever been harmed by your pet?

close up on hands holding a kitten

If the pet is a dog, you can ask the following more intricate questions:

  •  Has your dog ever completed training?
  • Do you always keep your dog leashed when going for walks?
  •  Do you have plans to pay or neuter your dog?
  •  Can your dog quietly spend time alone during the day?

If the pet is a cat, you can also ask:

  • Do you have plans to neuter or spay your pet?
  • Does your cat use a litter box?
  • Do you have proof of registration and identification for your pet?

Should you have a need for a more customized questionnaire, we recommend that you get in touch with a reliable property management company, like Blue Door Realty. With our experience and expertise, we will be able to prepare the questionnaire and also carry out the screening of the property.

In-Person Meeting

Once your potential tenant has handed in their questionnaire, you can choose to have an in-person meeting. This is a good chance for you to meet the pet and assess its behavior. 

However, we must mention that a first meeting should not be misunderstood for a pet’s character or personality. A pet may be nervous when meeting you for the first time.

We recommend that you have this meeting with a licensed professional, such as a pet behaviorist or trainer. 

Pet Clauses and Provisions

Now that you know the benefits of leasing to pet owners, you must set yourself up in the best way possible to enjoy its full benefits. We recommend that you include a pet clause in your lease agreement in order to keep your investment safe.

a person on a bed cuddling cats

The pet clauses should include:

  •  The screening of the pets
  • The type of pets that you allow on the premises
  •  Pet fees and pet security deposit

Benefits of a Pet Screening Solution

The process of screening can take up a significant amount of time. You will be required to customize questionnaires, hold in-person meetings, and confirm documentation from professionals and other authorities. While it might be time consuming, the benefits are in your favor.

You will be able to potentially charge a higher than usual market rent and also protect your investment while retaining quality tenants.


Pet screening is a useful tool to help you understand the pets living in your rental properties. Pet owners are often responsible tenants who are willing to pay above market to lease quality units.

Should you find it difficult to conduct a comprehensive tenant screening process, rely on a local service provider. For property owners in Albuquerque and the Rio Rancho area, get in touch with the property experts at Blue Door Realty.

We offer a wide range of property management services that can be customized to meet your unique property needs. Contact us today and you will receive a quote for our property management solutions.