If you have local rental properties and you manage them yourself, you must know the laws on services and emotional support animals. If you are using a property manager, make sure they are up on the laws, aswell.
At a recent local Landlord Association assembly, the discussion was on which animals we are required to allow without pet deposit and no pet rent. There are plenty of online sites where owners can get documentation stating that their “pet” is actually a service or emotional support pet. It was agreed that this is now more common, often as a method to get pets in without having to pay additionally for the pet.
Turns out you can find 2 agencies that create regulation regarding these animals:
The Americans with Disabilities Act
The Fair Housing Work (FHA)
Americans with Disabilities Work – The ADA prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life including jobs, academic institutions, transportation, and all general public and private places that are open to everyone. This law makes certain that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.
Examples of public accommodations include privately-possessed, leased or operated amenities like hotels, dining establishments, retail merchants, hospitals, golf courses, and so on.
As a landlord, should you have public areas like a leasing office or perhaps a pool that is available to the public, you must allow service pets or animals into that public space.
According to the ADA:
Only dogs are recognized as service wildlife under titles II and III of the ADA. (Be sure you read below concerning the miniature house provision!)
A service animal is really a dog that’s Service animal ID individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability.
Generally, entities must permit program animals to accompany people with disabilities in all areas where members of the general public are allowed to go.
** Service animals are thought as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for those who have disabilities.
Service animals are working animals, not pets.**
The work or task your dog has been trained to supply must be directly linked to the person’s disability. Dogs whose sole work is to provide comfort or emotional assistance do not qualify as service animals beneath the ADA.
Some State and local laws define service animal even more broadly compared to the ADA does. Information about such laws can be acquired from the State attorney general’s office.
But that’s not all!
The Department’s revised ADA restrictions have a fresh, separate provision about miniature horses that have been individually trained to accomplish work or perform tasks for those who have disabilities. (Miniature horses normally range in height from 24 inches to 34 in . measured to the shoulders and generally weigh between 70 and 100 pounds.)
There are 4 assessment factors to assist in determining whether miniature horses could be accommodated in your facility:
Is the miniature horse housebroken?
Is the miniature horse under the owner’s control?
Can your center accommodate the miniature horse’s sort, size, and weight?
Will the miniature horse’s occurrence compromise legitimate safety requirements essential for safe operation of your facility?
Would you like a horse (no matter how “miniature”) surviving in your rental? You may legally have no choice…
Under the ADA, emotional support animals are not recognized as carrying out work or tasks for their owners. Therefore, they don’t qualify as service animals and so are not protected under the ADA.
Another important concern covered in the ADA is certainly everything you may and may not ask for or require from proprietors of service animals. Actually, you can find only 2 questions you may ask:
Is this something animal that is required due to a disability?
What work or tasks has the animal been trained to perform?
You cannot ask for proof training and you cannot ask about the nature or extent of a person’s disability.