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These Are Not Pets...
I just had this question posed to me by the new owner of a 6-unit building I had listed.
Question: I don't allow pets so what do I do about service dogs or emotional service animals and can I reject them"?
As this subject of emotional support animals comes up frequently I thought the following response from the Massachusetts Association of Realtors Legal Hotline would provide a clearer answer to those dealing with tenants.
Emotional Support Animals
Q. A tenant is asking permission to have an emotional support animal and the building does not allow pets – can I say no?
A. In many situations, you may be required to make an exception to a “no pets” policy for a tenant who requires an assistance animal. Under Fair Housing laws, an assistance animal is an animal that works, provides assistance, or performs tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability, or that provides emotional support that alleviates one or more identified effects of a person’s disability. An assistance animal is not a pet.
Housing providers may not refuse to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, or services when an accommodation may be necessary to afford a person with a disability the equal opportunity to use and ... more
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