Most of us count ourselves among the 6 in 10 Americans who consider pets to be members of their families. Yet, sadly as many as 90% of pets in shelters were given up by owners who simply couldn’t find pet-friendly housing.

Since 62% of Americans have at least one pet, by limiting your tenants to those who don’t own (or hope to own) pets, you’re missing out on a huge share of the population.

Here are seven tips from a Newport Beach property management company serving all of Orange County CA, for reaching a compromise on this everyday issue…

Screen each pet and consider each applicant on an individual basis. A pet’s size or breed is far less important than a well-trained pet. Plus, have pets screened by

Speak with their last landlord to find out if the unit was left in good condition. You can also learn a lot by seeing how often the applicant moves; if they move more than once than every couple of years, it may suggest their landlords weren’t happy.

Have the tenant pay an increased security deposit and call it an increased security deposit, and not a pet deposit, for greater protection. Be careful not to charge a deposit for Emotional Support or Service Animals.

Require pets to be spayed or neutered before they move in. In addition to the obvious issues, dogs that haven’t been spayed or neutered are three times more likely to bite.

Require pets be up-to-date on all vaccinations. This can also be a good indication of how conscientious the pet’s owner is. And yes, can verify this for you.

Set reasonable rules such as not leaving dogs tied up outside, keep cats indoors, and requiring poop to be picked up immediately.

Don’t say no to a second pet if they’re caring for your property. Many pets are better-behaved if they have a friend to keep them company while their owners are out.