Beyond having a formal pet agreement as part of your leasing process, the key to making sure a pet will be successful in your community is conducting a pet interview. This means meeting the pet in person so you can confirm he or she is friendly and well-behaved.
Pet interview questions to ask
- How old is your pet and how long have you had him or her?
- Can you provide documentation from your vet that he or she is up to date on required vaccinations?
- Has he or she been spayed or neutered?
- Is he or she house-trained?
- Is he or she an indoor pet, or an indoor/outdoor pet?
- Is he or she treated for fleas?
- How do you handle pet waste?
- Do you always keep him or her leashed when outside?
- Is he or she microchipped in case they get away from you?
- Has he or she ever bitten anyone?
- Have you had problems with excessive barking?
- Have you had problems with excessive clawing or scratching of floors or furniture?
- Are you prepared to pay for any damage done by the pet?
- Does your renters insurance cover dog bites?
- How much time do you expect your pet to spend alone each day?
- What training has your pet had to help him or her behave well?
- Can you provide a reference for your pet from your prior landlord?
Request a pet resume for the pet interview
You can also request that potential tenants provide a “pet resume” that shows why their pet will be a good tenant. These typically include:
- A photo of the pet
- A description of the pet’s daily activities
- A description of the pet’s personality
- A description of how the pet interacts with other people and pets
- Details about training that has been completed to ensure good behavior
- Proof of vaccinations
See sample PDFs here, here and here.
Ask an expert
You can also check whether a pet will be a good fit for your property by asking for a reference from the pet’s veterinarian or the shelter from which it was adopted. Both are likely to have insights into a pet’s temperament and behavior.
Want more info? Check out our Pet-Friendly Housing Toolkit for best practices for cities, tools for rental property owners, and tips for pet parents who rent.