The Basics of Pet Screening

When it comes to leasing a rental, pets can be a contentious issue. However, pet screening looks to leave that in the past.

We all want to be able to live with our furry friends, but pets can create serious problems, from property damage to noise complaints. In order to keep the tenants, the landlord, and neighbors happy, pet screenings are becoming widely adopted.

What is a Pet Screening

A pet screening is a way for landlords to evaluate the risk of allowing animals in the property. In the same way, a landlord will run a background check on a person, a pet screening is a background check for an animal. If you are still on the fence about allowing pets in your property, consider these factors.

This allows for more flexibility when finding renters while maintaining control over the risk associated with allowing animals in the rental. Screenings are typically done by landlords, though third parties are available to perform them as well.

A common practice for pet screenings is examining the medical history of the animal, its size, its breed, and perhaps most importantly its behavior.

How Does Pet Screening Work?

Expect to need to provide the background information on your pet. Breed, age, size, and health are all important factors that will be considered for allowing the pet in the residence.

In addition to physical attributes, pet screenings will often have a behavioral test for the pets. Landlords will take the pet through a process to examine how well it can fit into the community at large, and what, if any, disturbances the pet may cause.

Landlords may tell the pet to “sit” or “stay” to examine how it reacts to commands from strangers. A walk around the property can also be expected. Landlords want to see how the pet behaves when in the larger community. Excessive barking or aggressive behavior when outside are major red flags. 

Examining the pet’s actions when confronted with children, strangers, and other animals may also be part of the screening process. Assessing the potential for violent behavior is important to gauge potential liability for the landlord. To further examine the legal liabilities surrounding pets visit NOLO.

Based on the results of the Pet Screening, the landlord may take action. This could include a flat-out rejection from the property owner or a larger security deposit for any damage caused by the pet while it occupies the rental property. 

How Long Does Pet Screening Take?

Pet screenings should not take very long. A simple examination of the dog plus a 15-minute walk around the property at most. 

As for how long a decision may take, that depends. Some 3rd party tools like are instant. Landlords may take more time but it depends on the landlord. 


Pet screenings are a great way to put landlords and tenants on the same page. Keeping a tension-free relationship with your landlord or tenant can start with a pet screening.