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Finding a decent housing option with a dog can be very challenging. In fact, when it comes to renting a house with a dog, landlords and tenants often clash. Landlords across the country are hesitant to rent to tenants with dogs, citing a variety of reasons such as damage to their property and barking. Fortunately with a Registered Service Dog or Emotional Support Animal, you can bypass many of the hurdles and not face discrimination in the rental process.
One of the legal rights people with service dogs have is to go everywhere with their dog and live in housing even when pets and/or specific dog breeds are not allowed. The law governing this right is the Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA) which provides the protection to individuals with a service dog who are seeking housing.
For landlords, it is essential to learn about the different types of service animals and the policies they must follow before renting their properties. Denying a tenant with a service animal or ESA is not compliant with the law against discrimination.
Housing/ Renting with a service dog are protected by the following laws. All of these laws protect disabled handlers and their service animals, however it is important to keep in mind that these rights are contingent on :
Reasonable accommodations are when a tenant asks a landlord to make a change in an existing rule or policy to have equal access to a property. The various requirements landlords must make for service animals or ESAs to reside in a rental unit are addressed and protected by The Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act as a reasonable accommodation for tenants with disabilities.
Housing/ Rental issues with a service dog are protected by the following laws:
Below are some common examples of tasks Service Dogs are trained to support. Keep in mind there are many “invisible disabilities” that are not ostensibly apparent, but can still be crippling without the assistance of a Service Dog
Additionally, these symptoms can all be addressed with Service Animals
Additionally, there are many psychiatric problems that Service Animals can help
A lawsuit can be filed against a landlord if they deny a potential tenant based on the fact that they own a service dog or Emotional Support Animal. As the law states, landlords and property owners are required to make reasonable accommodations and change their policies for individuals renting with service dogs.
Landlords must understand that there is a key difference between pets and Service Animals or Emotional Support Animals. Even if the housing lease prohibits pets, a landlord is by law required to accept service dogs. A disabled person with a service dog has the legal right to ask the landlord to allow their service dog regardless even if there is a no pet policy since service animals are not considered pets under federal law. This is called a request for a reasonable accommodation. Denial for such a request is discriminatory and illegal.