Are you a tenant who wants to rent a new apartment with your furry friend? Then you need to be prepared for the pet screening process. In this guide, we will explore what tenants should expect during a pet screening, the things pet screeners and landlords look for, and how to prepare your dog for the screening. We will also provide tips on how to create a pet resume that will make you and your pet stand out from the crowd.
What Tenants Should Expect During a Pet Screening
When you have found a potential rental, you will need to prove that your pet is a great match. The pet screening process usually involves an initial meeting with the landlord, where you and your pet will be introduced. For dogs, the landlord may test basic commands like “sit” and “stay” to see how they respond to commands from others. Your dog may also be walked around the building to assess their behavior in different scenarios, such as encountering other dogs or children. For pets that aren’t typically trained, the landlord may have questions about their temperament and living arrangements.
Things Pet Screeners and Landlords Look For
Landlords want to ensure that pets won’t be aggressive or harmful to others on the property. They look out for signs of aggression, such as bared teeth, growling, and raised hair on the back. Excessive barking is another red flag that landlords take note of, as they want to avoid noise complaints from other tenants.
Pet Screening Checklist for Landlords
For landlords, finding the right tenant with pets requires careful consideration. Here are some important questions to ask when renting to tenants with pets:
- What type of pet do you have?
- How long have you owned your pet?
- Can you provide a letter from your vet confirming your pet’s health?
- Can you provide a written reference for your pet from a current landlord?
- Does your pet have any behavioral or medical problems? If so, what training or treatment are you using?
- Who cares for your pet when you’re away?
- Can you pay a pet security deposit if required?
- Is your pet housetrained?
- How much time does your pet spend alone each day?
Asking these questions will help landlords find the right fit for their rental property and make the process smoother.
How to Prepare Your Dog for Screening
Dog screenings are the most common, so we’ll focus on tips for preparing dogs. Before the in-person meeting, train your dog to follow basic commands. This will prevent any potential slip-ups during the screening process. Consider working with a professional trainer to ensure your dog is well-behaved. Taking your high-energy dog for a walk or playtime before the meeting can help calm them down. Socialize your pet with other animals, adults, and children to ensure they are comfortable in different situations.
How to Create a Pet Resume + Tips
Creating a pet resume can make you and your pet stand out during the application process. Similar to a job application for humans, a pet resume should cover the basics about your pet and why they are a good fit for the property. Some benefits of creating a pet resume include mitigating breed and size restrictions, demonstrating your commitment to the application process, addressing concerns about pet health and behavior, answering potential landlord questions, and turning pet-tolerant landlords into pet-friendly ones.
Here’s how you can create a pet resume:
1) Choose the Perfect Photo
Include an adorable, happy, and calm photo of your pet to make a great first impression. Consider including a photo of your pet with children or other animals to show that they get along.
2) Fill in the Details
Include the following critical elements in your pet resume:
- Name: Choose an appropriate and non-violent name.
- Age: Older pets may be more beneficial to landlords, but if you have a puppy, showcase their training.
- Breed: Mention the breed, especially if there are breed restrictions.
- Size: Provide an idea of your pet’s size and potential impact on the rental.
- Health: Include a health summary, spaying/neutering status, and vaccination records.
- Obedience and Skills: Highlight your pet’s training and any special skills or certifications.
3) Add an “About Me” Section
Describe your relationship with your pet and how they are well cared for. Include information about how long you have had your pet, their experience living in apartments, exercise routines, whether they shed, and why they will be a great tenant.
4) Include References and Contact Information
Include your contact information and consider providing a reference from a past landlord to demonstrate your pet’s good behavior.
You can find a pet resume template here to easily create your own.
Renting an apartment with your pet is an exciting time, but it requires preparation. By following these guidelines and creating a pet resume, you can ensure that both you and your furry friend have a successful pet screening.