Believe it or not, DNA testing tenant dog poop has been increasing in popularity with apartment communities around the country to deter residents from letting their pet’s mess litter their property. Tired of resident complaints, wasted landscaping time cleaning up after offenders and a decrease in curb appeal, property managers are flocking to these types of screening services…but is it really worth it?
How Does It Work?
While the process of getting set up and negotiating fees will vary depending on each service provider, the process of dog DNA testing is pretty streamlined. Once you’ve signed up, each dog in your community will need to register their DNA into your service’s pet registry. This is done via a cheek swab on pet’s already living in your community, and when applicants are approved to move in.
Then (once the registry is complete) when you find dog leavings on the property, you or your staff will need to send a sample to the lab via the service’s collection kit. The lab will then match the DNA of the dog poop to the DNA in their registry, and you’ll be ready to fine or warn the offending resident in order to maintain the landscaping your community takes pride in.
It’s safe to say, there are a lot of pros and cons to utilizing this service.
DNA Testing Tenant Dog Poop Pros:
- Makes offenders accountable
Just as you use resident screening to know prior offenses that could put your property at risk, using DNA testing to discover the lazy pet owners in your apartment community helps you distinguish if this is a community-wide problem or just the work of a few residents. You wouldn’t want to ban pets from the property simply because of a few bad residents. Only the culprits should be the ones held accountable.
- Deters poop offenses
There’s a reason it’s popular – it works. Combined with a large fine, residents will think twice before leaving their dog’s doo.
- Testing costs can be covered by your fine
Depending on how much you’ll be fining an offending resident, the fine could easily cover the costs of the collection kit and DNA processing. Plus, it can generate some extra revenue for your community.
- Less poop, less time cleaning up
With less dog poop littering your community, the less time your landscaping or maintenance crew spends cleaning it up. This gives them more time to focus on the real needs of your community, and naturally boosts your curb appeal which goes to make residents and applicants happier.
DNA Testing Tenant Dog Poop Cons:
- Time consuming
While DNA testing your resident’s dog poop is more effective than hours of analyzing security camera footage, it still takes time. You have to be looking for pet poop, take the time to collect a sample of each offense, and then eventually process the dog poop fines.
- Unidentified dog poop
Overall DNA testing isn’t fool-proof, and there will be some instances where the lab is unable to identify the resident offender. In this case, your community will have to cover the fees for the testing.
- All dogs have to be registered
Depending on the size of your community, creating a DNA database of all the dogs on your property can take a long time… and if your vacancy rate is high, you might have to constantly register new pets. With so much on your plate, there’s a fair chance one or two dogs might go unregistered by accident.
Before looking into DNA testing tenant dog poop in your community, consider offering free doggy doo bags or review the placement (or lack) of trashcans in your community. You will also want to make sure your property management software is adequately keeping track of your resident’s pets. Without an up-to-date record, creating a pet DNA database can be a nightmare. Ideally you’ll want your property management software to ask rental applicants if they have pets (plus the color and breed) and automatically transfer that information into their resident file once they start to rent.
Does your community have issues with dog poop? Have you considered, or do you currently use, dog poop DNA testing?
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About the Author
Becky Bower is the Communications Executive here at the Resident Screening Blog. She holds a degree in English, with a focus in creative writing, from CSU Channel Islands. Her biggest weakness is cake and favorite superhero is Batman.