Is Pet Tenant Screening the Future of Rental Housing?

pet tenant screening

By Olivia Creighton

The debate on whether or not to allow pets in rental housing is always ongoing, and there are certainly arguments for both sides. It seems like everyone has their own opinion, and they’re steadfast in their belief. However, as tenant pet background checks become more advanced, could this new form of verification be the turning point?

Even if you allow pets in your property, it’s hard to tell which animal won’t cause your rental – or the people around it – any harm. While meeting the animal before allowing the tenants to move in is always a good idea, a pet being friendly in one instance doesn’t mean that it has a perfect temperament. The tenants themselves also play a factor in the animal’s demeanor, and you can’t always tell if they’re a diligent owner right away. But what do you do? Allowing pets can be a bit of a gamble, but pet screening is aiming to change that.

The concept of background checks for pets in rental housing can be a little confusing, as you can’t very well include an applicant’s pet when you process the tenant screening. What these services offer is essentially a comprehensive background of the pet, from vet records to behavioral certificates and more. While pet owners submit this information to the company, such as PetScreening, a team of reviewers goes over the information to ensure that it is correct and up-to-date. Accounts are then assigned a “FIDO” score (not to be confused with the FICO risk score), which tells you how risky this pet would be to your property and those around it.

This type of service has, so far, demonstrated some potential benefits for landlords and those who connect renters with rental properties. When doing their review, companies look into the validity of those that claim to have a service animal so that you don’t accept someone attempting to deceive you. Pet background checks provide you more objective knowledge about the animal than you will typically get from a simple meeting, allowing you to feel better about having the animal in your property. The service is also typically free for landlords, which means it never hurts to look into it.

Accepting pets into your property can be a risk, as many landlords know all too well. With the introduction of pet screening, new information is available to property owners that they couldn’t get before. Does it remove all risk from the equation? Absolutely not. But it does give you a better sense of what kind of animal you’re dealing with, which may put you a little more at ease. Overall the most important thing in accepting a pet is knowing that it has a responsible owner, as that can make all the difference.

How do You Handle Screening Pets?

pet tenant screening


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4 thoughts on “Is Pet Tenant Screening the Future of Rental Housing?

  1. Blog Visitor Jerry Nakagawara says:

    A tenant has a service animal ( pit bull mix) with documentations. Is there a way to prove if the docs are correct and related to that dog. The docs have a number code but does not reference to the owner of the dog or the address which is where tenant lives.

    • Blog Visitor Olivia Creighton says:

      Hi Jerry,
      The best way to verify this information would be by using a service like Once your tenant enters the info about the pet, their team will research whether or not that data is correct. Additionally, I would suggest looking into the service animal legislation in your state to see what documentation is required.

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