44% of Americans own at least 1 dog, and 29% own at least 1 cat, only 40% of Americans own no pets at all. With how important pets are to the average American family, it’s no wonder why more communities are becoming pet friendly. As a matter of fact, some new communities are even being built with pet owners in mind. Waste bags on the corner, a dog park in the center of the property, management teams are catering to American pet owners more and more each year.

If you’ve considered making your community pet friendly, there are a few things to consider first. Of course, you’ll need to protect yourself, your other residents, and your property, while keeping the pet owning tenants safe and happy at the same time. This is where a pet policy comes in, and it’s important for any pet-friendly community to have one in place.

First and foremost, a community management team should ask the right questions of residents regarding their pets as part of their pet policy. Questions like where the animal came from, how old they are, if they’re housebroken or litter trained, if they’ve ever bitten another animal or person, or if the animal is properly vaccinated and licensed help to keep property management teams and other residents protected.

Next, property management teams may wish to meet the animal(s) before signing a lease for a prospective resident. It’s at this point that property management teams can meet pets for themselves and see that they’re not aggressive, that owners were truthful in answering questions, and they can see proof of license and vaccinations. If the pet checks out, the prospective resident can then pay a refundable deposit. This deposit will be used to fix any damaged property, or returned if the residence is left without damages when the resident leaves.

You can also determine weight requirements of pets if you’d prefer to limit larger pets with a greater capability of doing real property damage. For instance, a 100 pound dog can do a great deal more damage (on average) when compared to a 10 pound dog, and property management teams may decide that only pets under a certain size are allowed to reside in the property.

For community management teams considering a pet policy, putting real thought into building that policy is important. For more information on building a pet policy for your community, contact us at OccupancySolutions.com today.