Landlord Collecting DNA

 The landlord at a Kansas City, Missouri apartment complex has been dealing with a lot of… uh, let’s just say “waste” lately because some tenants won’t pick up after their dogs.

Now, according to a news report, she’s found a solution. She is requiring that dog owners submit their pets to a DNA swab.  In case there’s an “accident” down the road, she can easily prove who owns the mess — and the consequences.

The landlord says she is charging tenants the fee, about $35, upfront, but will return the money if there’s never a need for CSI.

She told reporters that just the knowledge that a tenant will get caught provides incentive for them to bring along a bag. Otherwise, she said, her threats were just ignored.

The service could benefit other dog owners by also providing a way to conclusively prove somebody’s innocence.

When implementing pet policies such as waste-testing, it’s also important to lay out what will happen to offenders. Many property managers provide a one-warning system, and then reserve the right to evict offending tenants. Make sure your policy is something you can live with; you will have to enforce it each and every time there’s a problem.

Even small complexes can get bogged down with dog waste disposal. According to Zero Waste USA, a company that specializes in providing dog waste disposal solutions, landlords may have to process as much as 275 pounds of waste each year — per dog. But implementing a highly visible waste removal system, including bags and cans, along with signs around the property, can cut down on unwanted surprises in the grass. You can check out Zero Waste USA’s disposal systems at

The other option is to simply ban pets on the premises. But with a definitive trend towards pet-friendly, eventually that policy can deter qualified tenants. It may be more profitable to, well, go with the flow.

American Apartment Owners Association offers discounts on products and services for all your property management needs. Find out more at