For the love of Animals

By Nancy Kaller on Jul 09, 2021 at 08:37 PM in Articles
For the love of Animals

For the love of Animals

Boy, do we love our animals! The usual greeting at the front door because we are home melts our hearts. But what about the animals that are service dogs or emotional support animals, how does this work with your rental agreement? 

If a resident has a disability, they can request reasonable accommodations for their condition in the property rules, policies, or practices, including waiving a no pets policy for someone who requires an assistance animal. The landlord is not required to make reasonable accommodations under the fair housing act in certain cases, however.

A service dog has special training to assist its owner with a disability. An emotional support animal does not have special training but provides comfort and companionship to its owner with mental health issues.

If you have a service dog or emotional support animal, your landlord may require a letter stating the animal is needed to improve your condition from your licensed therapist, psychiatrist, or psychologist for the emotional support animal, but not for your service dog.  For your service dog, your landlord can ask for a photograph and a letter stating that the resident/s is a person with a disability, and the need for the animal to assist with the specific disability and the service dog assists with the disability. Your landlord may also ask for copies of your service dog’s medical records to ensure the health and that the animal is current with immunizations.

Your landlord may not ask for the service dogs’ certification and/or training papers nor can they ask for the resident/s medical records, or about the disabilities, or the mental health issues. Refer to the accessibility and fair housing laws and your state laws for details.

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This article is not intended to be exhaustive or a substitute for qualified legal advice. Laws and statutes are always subject to change and may vary by county or city. You are responsible for performing your research and complying with all laws applicable to your unique situation.

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