What to Do When Tenants Don’t Pick up Pet Waste at Your Apartments
Posted by Angela R. in Property Management on July 30, 2019
Having pet-friendly apartments will help you attract more tenants, and can be a great way to market your rental properties.
But if your tenants aren’t respecting your property, and are refusing to clean up after their pets and leaving pet waste all over the common areas of your apartment complex, you may be wondering how you can prevent this – and keep your apartments clean, safe, and comfortable for everyone. In this guide, we’ll discuss a few pet waste management strategies you can use to do this, and keep pet waste where it belongs – in the trash, and out of the way of your tenants!
1. Have an Airtight Pet Waste Policy Built into Your Lease
First things first, you need to make sure that all of your leases have a policy in place regarding pet waste – and ensuring that owners are responsible for cleaning up their pet’s waste. All policies regarding this should be outlined in the “pet addendum” for your lease.
If you do not have policies about pet waste disposal and penalties for noncompliance built into your lease, it will be very hard to enforce your pet waste policy.
2. Post Signs Outlining Your Pet Waste Policy
If you continue to notice a lot of “doggy land mines” around your apartments, you should start by posting signs reminding your tenants of their responsibilities – and the importance of respecting their fellow tenants by cleaning up after their pets.
You should also outline some of the health problems and dangers posed by leaving behind pet waste, like water contamination, and the transmission of intestinal parasites by dogs.
Sometimes, sheer forgetfulness or laziness can be the cause of excessive pet waste that is not cleaned up. Posting signs reminding dog owners of their responsibilities – and the penalties for not complying – can be a good way to deal with a minor pet waste problem, and ensure that they bring along pet waste bags, and throw away waste responsibly.
3. Add More Trash Cans and Dog Waste Stations Around Your Apartments
In an ideal world, your tenants wouldn’t mind bringing their own pet waste disposal bags, and carrying their dog’s waste to a dumpster or their own trash can. But not everyone is willing to do that, so some may opt to just leave their dog’s waste behind – especially if you do not have many disposal stations around your apartments.
Investing in a few trash cans and dog waste stations is a great idea. Dog waste stations can be stocked with plastic bags for picking up pet waste, and also double as a disposal unit. If you place a few of these around areas where you commonly find dog waste, you’ll be able to mitigate the issue, as pet owners will be able to easily access a plastic bag and toss their dog’s waste in just a few moments. The easier it is for your tenants to do the right thing and throw away pet waste, the more likely they are to do so!
4. Set up a Dedicated Dog Park
A fenced-in dog park where owners can let their dogs off of the leash is a great idea for any pet-friendly apartment. Of course, you should make sure that you draw up rules for the dog park to ensure you minimize your legal liability, and have tenants sign waivers regarding their pets when using the dog park.
You should have plenty of dog waste disposal stations in the area, so pet owners can clean up after their pups, and pet owners will be encouraged to do so to keep the dog park safe, fun, and clean for their dogs.
Some pet owners may still refuse to pick up dog waste – but even so, a dog park is out of the way of normal foot traffic, so you can keep the waste contained. In addition, other dog owners may be able to identify the offending party and their dog, and inform management so that proper action can be taken.
5. Have Staff and Tenants Keep an Eye out for Repeat Offenders
If you are still having trouble with dog waste being left in public areas, and you suspect that there are a few key repeat offenders who are responsible for it, you should make sure that your staff and tenants know to look out for suspicious behavior.
You can even use a service like DialMyCalls to create an anonymous tip hotline. Then, if a tenant notices a pet owner leaving behind waste, they can tell you who they are or which apartment is theirs, and you can take the appropriate action, and levy a fine or issue them a warning about leaving dog waste in public areas.
When people start to realize that they will be caught and identified, they will be less likely to offend again – and if they continue to ignore your warnings and penalties, you can build up a legal case to evict them and their pets, if necessary.
6. Consider Dog DNA Registration
We only recommend this in extreme circumstances, but the final option you have for dealing with pet waste is to use a service like Poo Prints – which is a service that can identify the DNA of a particular dog from its pet waste.
You can require a stool sample from each dog that resides at your apartment complex, then register each one and have it analyzed. Then, whenever dog waste is left behind at your apartment complex, you can have it matched to the offending dog owner – and ensure they pay a fine or penalty.
This is a bit of an expensive and time-consuming option – but it does ensure that nobody will ever be able to get away with leaving behind pet waste again, and it provides you with solid evidence which you can use during legal proceedings, such as an eviction.
Eliminate Pet Waste and Keep Your Apartments Safe and Clean with These Tips!
Whether you only have occasional problems with pet waste, or your apartment is being overrun by irresponsible dog owners who do not clean up after their pets, these above tips are sure to give you some inspiration – and help you take action to protect your property.