If you have local rental properties and you manage them yourself, you must know the laws on program and emotional support animals. If you are using a property manager, make sure they are up on the laws, as well.
At a recent local Landlord Association gathering, the discussion was on which animals we are necessary to allow without pet deposit no pet rent. There are many online sites where owners will get documentation stating that their “pet” is actually a service or emotional support animal. It had been agreed that this is now more common, often as ways to get pets in without having to pay additionally for your pet.
Turns out you can find 2 agencies that create regulation regarding these animals:
The Americans with Disabilities Act
The Fair Housing Take action (FHA)
Americans with Disabilities Action – The ADA prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in all regions of public life including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places which 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-owned, leased or operated conveniences like hotels, dining establishments, retail merchants, doctor’s offices, golf courses, and so forth.
As a landlord, assuming you have public areas such as a leasing office or a pool that is available to the public, you need to allow service pets or animals into that public space.
According to the ADA:
Only dogs are recognized as service animals under titles II and III of the ADA. (Make sure to read below concerning the miniature house provision!)
A service animal is really a dog that is individually trained to accomplish work or perform jobs for an individual with a disability.
Generally, entities must permit services animals Service animal registration to accompany people who have disabilities in all areas where members of the general public are allowed to go.
** Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to accomplish work or perform tasks for people with disabilities.
Service animals will work animals, not pets.**
The work or task a dog has been trained to supply must be directly linked to the person’s disability. Dogs whose sole purpose would be to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals beneath the ADA.
Some State and local laws define service animal even more broadly than the ADA does. Information regarding such laws can be acquired from hawaii attorney general’s office.
But that’s not all!
The Department’s revised ADA restrictions have a fresh, separate provision about miniature horses which were individually trained to do work or perform tasks for those who have disabilities. (Miniature horses usually range high from 24 inches to 34 inches measured to the shoulders and generally weigh between 70 and 100 pounds.)
There are 4 assessment factors to aid in identifying 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 service accommodate the miniature horse’s variety, size, and weight?
Will the miniature horse’s presence compromise legitimate safety requirements necessary for safe operation of your facility?
Do you want a horse (regardless of how “miniature”) living in your rental? You may legally have no choice…
Beneath the ADA, emotional support animals are not recognized as doing work or tasks because of their owners. Therefore, they do not qualify as service animals and are not protected under the ADA.
Another important issue covered in the ADA is definitely what you may and may not require or require from keepers of service animals. In fact, there are only 2 questions you may ask:
Is this a service animal that is required because of a disability?
What work or tasks has the animal been trained to execute?
You cannot ask for proof of training and you cannot enquire about the type or extent of someone’s disability.