Pet screening application template

How to Conduct a Pet Screening: Sample Pet Screening Application


You as the property manager have the option of accepting renters who have pets or not. You may be unaware of what limitations you can impose on the animals you accept and what details you can demand upfront. Our pet screening application template gives you the details you require to have all of your queries addressed and have crucial discussions with your potential homeowners who own pets to see if they’re a good fit. 

What is a Pet Screening?

This is essentially a background check on the pet of your homeowners that your association or a third-party agency conducts upon moving into the community. You get insight into the pet’s personality, temperament, and behavior through this approach. You may learn more from it than you would have from a single “in-person” encounter.

Inspecting a pet is just as crucial to enforcing your community’s CC&Rs. You may avoid potential property damage and future noise complaints by doing this.

Animals that go out of control can cause destruction to your community. Untrained animals may bark, upsetting the neighbors who may complain about the noise. These issues can be avoided with the use of pet screenings. This ensures you stay ahead of animals that may be prone to aggressive behavioral issues.

How do you conduct a pet screening?

First and foremost, you should always be upfront with potential homeowners about any pet policies you have (such as size or species limits) and any additional costs they would be liable for if they bring a pet with them. This will save both you and potential renters time when filing an application in the event that the pet is not one you accept or they refuse to pay the needed extra charge.

The primary goal of the pet screening process is to prevent a renter from moving in with a type of pet that might seriously destroy your property or endanger other tenants. Pets who are boisterous, unvaccinated, or that speak frequently might cause issues.

A later, more problematic issue including a notice to depart or an eviction may be avoided with a pet screening.

Pet Screening Application Questions

Making a pet screening application that gives a high-level summary of their pet is a smart place to start. To help you get started, consider these sample questions:

  • Pet Name
  • Type of Pet
  • What is your pet’s weight?
  • How old is your pet?
  • How long have you owned this pet?
  • Proof of up-to-date vaccinations?
  • Has your pet ever bitten/attacked another person or animal?
  • Is your pet house-trained?
  • Does your pet understand basic commands?
  • Does your pet have any behavioral issues? This may include bared teeth, growling, raised hackles, or excessive barking.
  • Veterinarian contact information

Download the FREE pet screening application template:

Pet screening application template

New call-to-action

What are HOA Service Animal Policies?

The ADA specifies that only a dog individually trained to perform tasks or aid a person with disabilities qualifies as a service or assistance animal. It considers no other animal, domestic or wild, even if trained, as a service animal. Service animals should assist individuals with disabilities in all their responsibilities.

Although the law primarily recognizes dogs as service animals, several states extend this classification to include other animals as well, provided they meet the necessary criteria.Be careful to review the laws and guidelines in your state regarding service animals. You should include the necessary guidelines in your request for a pet screening.

How to navigate service animal requests

In accordance with the Fair Housing Act, you may also request adequate documentation to demonstrate that the individual in question genuinely requires a service animal due to a disability. Importantly, it’s essential to acknowledge that not all disabilities are visibly apparent. As a result, your prospective homeowners might occasionally suffer from mental illnesses and, therefore, require a service dog or emotional support animals to assist them in social situations. Additionally, service animals can play a pivotal role in reminding them to take their prescriptions on schedule.

You can request a doctor’s note to confirm that they need a service animal in certain circumstances. What you may and cannot do in relation to service dogs is listed below:

Can do Cannot do
To verify the requirement for a service dog, ask the homeowner for a letter of support or recommendation on your pet application form. You cannot ask for a pet deposit. The homeowner still must comply with all other CC&Rs relating to pet ownership.
You can also obtain the service animal’s identity along with their medical data. Pictures or other forms of identification are acceptable forms of identification. You are not permitted to inquire about a tenant’s medical history or the certification of a service animal.


You can refuse a service animal if:

  • The pet is not legal according to your state’s law.
  • The homeowner refuses to take responsibility for the service animal, refusing to resolve noise complaints or clean up after the animal.
  • The pet is a threat to the other residents of the property.


Streamline Your Community Management


Take a tour of Smartwebs’ HOA Management + Accounting Software today.


Get Full Demo