If you have local rental properties and you also manage them yourself, you need to know the laws on support and emotional support animals. If you use a property manager, get them to up on the laws, aswell.
At a recent local Landlord Association conference, the discussion was on which animals we are required to allow without pet deposit no pet rent. There are many online sites where pet owners will get documentation stating that their “pet” is truly a service or emotional support animal. It was agreed that this is becoming more common, often as ways to get pets in without needing to pay additionally for the pet.
Turns out there are 2 agencies that create regulation regarding these animals:
The Americans with Disabilities Act
The Fair Housing Take action (FHA)
Americans with Disabilities Take action – The ADA prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all regions of public life including jobs, universities, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. This law makes certain that people with disabilities have exactly the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.
Examples of public accommodations include privately-possessed, leased or operated conveniences like hotels, dining establishments, retail merchants, doctor’s offices, golf courses, etc.
As a landlord, assuming you have public areas for instance a leasing office or perhaps a pool that is open to the public, you must allow service pets into that public space.
According to the ADA:
Only dogs are recognized as service family pets 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 is individually trained to do work or perform duties for an individual with a disability.
Generally, entities must permit services animals to accompany people with disabilities in every areas where members of the general public are Service animal ID allowed to go.
** Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to accomplish work or perform tasks for those who have disabilities.
Service animals will work animals, not pets.**
The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly linked to the individuals disability. Dogs whose sole functionality 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 obtained from hawaii attorney general’s office.
But that’s not all!
The Department’s revised ADA regulations have a new, separate provision about miniature horses which were individually trained to accomplish work or perform tasks for those who have disabilities. (Miniature horses typically range high from 24 inches to 34 in . measured to the shoulders and generally weigh between 70 and 100 pounds.)
You can find 4 assessment factors to aid in deciding whether miniature horses could be accommodated in your facility:
May be the miniature horse housebroken?
Is the miniature horse under the owner’s control?
Can your center accommodate the miniature horse’s variety, size, and weight?
Will the miniature horse’s existence compromise legitimate safety requirements essential for safe operation of your facility?
Do you want a horse (regardless of how “miniature”) surviving in your rental? You might legally have no choice…
Under the ADA, emotional support animals are not recognized as carrying out work or tasks for their owners. Therefore, they do not qualify as service animals and so are not protected under the ADA.
Another important matter covered in the ADA is everything you may and may not ask for or require from masters of service animals. In fact, you can find only 2 questions you might ask:
Is this something animal that is required because of a disability?
What work or tasks gets 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.