How to Get a $1,000 Pet Damage Guarantee
Pet Protection Program
Over 50% of tenants have a pet. Many owners instruct us to not allow any pets in their rental, but there are 3 problems with this policy:
- The tenant will lie. They will say they have no pets, but then mysteriously, a pet is on their premises after move in. Although this is technically a violation of their lease, and we could post a “3-Day Notice to Cure”, after we spent $1,300 to $2,000 to get the case heard in front of a small claims court, the pet would just as mysteriously disappear. The bottom line, the tenant won’t put down their pet to comply with your pet policy.
- The tenant will re-classify their pet as a “comfort” or “emotional support” animal. It only takes a few minutes at the computer, less than $50, and their pet is no longer a pet. For a comfort animal, by law, there can be no additional monthly fee or an increase in the security deposit to compensate for their existence. It may not be right, but it is legal and increasingly common.
- The tenant will not lease your property. Many tenants will abide by your wishes and not be willing to lease your rental. You will lose 50% of potential tenants. They will gravitate to a “pet friendly” rental, which are becoming increasingly common.
Here is our solution, offer the tenant a Pet Protection Program. There are 3 aspects to this program:
- The tenant is directed to Petscreener.com. For a low fee per pet (and no fee for service, comfort or emotional support animals), the tenant uploads pertinent pet information such as vaccinations, licenses, breed type and contact information. They are provided a link, so when they go to a groomer or veterinarian, who also require this documentation, they can easily provide this to them.
- After putting in this information, the pet is awarded a 1 to 5 “paw score”: the higher the rating, the lower the risk of the pet. A pet with a five score would pay $10 per month for this program, and for a pet with a one score, pay a $30 monthly fee. com does not charge for a service or comfort animal, but does collect the certification to make sure the animal does qualify for this designation.
- Since we encourage our owners to collect two month’s rent as the security deposit, and the tenant cannot pay a larger fee to compensate for possible pet damage, we guarantee to the owner $1,000 of pet damage over and above the security deposit.
This is a proverbial win, win and win. The tenant has a new home for their pet, our owner has an additional $1,000 as protection, and we earn a fee to moderate the program and pay for any potential pet damage. We encourage our owners to be pet friendly, but also protection program wise.