Service Animals And Pets Policy

Dated: 01/29/2016

Views: 469

Rental Property. No Pet Policy.

Then here comes an application from an individual  with a "therapy dog".  Can landlord deny the application?

Here are some important points to remember:

        - Therapy pets, service animals, emotional support animals, or assistance animals/animal aides are all in the same category under applicable federal law.

        - The above mentioned service animals are NOT PETS!

        - Any policy the landlord has regarding pets are NOT applicable to service animals. 

Therefore, the landlord can not reject the application. And must consider this as a request for reasonable accommodation. However, if the person seeking to use and live with the service animal DOES NOT have  physical or mental disability or impairment that limits a major aspect of that person's life, AND the person making a request DOES NOT HAVE A DISABILITY-RELATED need for the service animal, the landlord is not required to modify his policy and may deny the requested accommodation. 

If the applicant has an obvious impairment, they do not need to provide documentation, however, if impairment is not apparent, the landlord can ask for documentation from physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker or other medical professional. 

The landlord can require tenant to pay for any property damage caused by the service animal beyond the normal wear and tear. The landlord also has the right to deny request of reasonable accommodation if service animal poses a threat to the health or safety of others. Service animals don't need to be individually trained or certified. 

There is still a limited discussion about landlord's obligations concerning service animals. It is best to review the Fair Housing Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1972. 

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Florida Rodriguez

We just purchased our first home today and I cannot thank Florida enough for all her help. She is very professional and very thorough in assisting us since day 1. She always make herself available and....

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