Do You Know the Fair Housing Rules about Service Animals

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Real Estate Agent with Sun Lakes Realty DRE #01492138
https://activerain.com/droplet/4QnH

Do You Know the Fair Housing Rules about Service Animals

Service Pets- Know the Fair Housing Rules

From the Real Estate Files 2.pub

Service Animals

Many landlords and property managers do not know that people with disabili􏰁es have the right under both Federal and California Law to use the services of a guide, signal or service animal and to keep those animals in their residences. In fact, a “service animal” is specifically defined by law to not be considered a “pet.” They are given the same defini􏰁on as an auxiliary aid such as a wheelchair, walker etc. A service animal can be any species. Also, there is no legal requirement that a service animal be specifically trained or cer􏰁fied. If requested by a person with a disability, a landlord or property manager must make reasonable accommoda‐ 􏰁ons for the animal. These accommoda􏰁ons must be made even where there is a “no pet” policy. The landlord or property manager can only ask for a copy of a doctor’s note recommending that the current or prospec􏰁ve tenant will benefit from keeping a service animal.

  • A service animal can be a rabbit, cat, lizard, dog, etc for emotional or mobility support.
  • A service animal can live with a person in a hourse or apartment which has a "NO PET" rule.
  • If the owner goes to the hospital, the service pet can ride in the ambulance. Pet can stay at the hospital if the patient can attend to the pet. If not, a relative or friend can take over.
  • A service animal does not have to wear a vest.
  • If the owner checks into a hotel the pet can checked in with them. 
  • Restaurants- pet can go inside with owner and walk the salad bar line with them.
  • Does a service pet have to be registered with the ADA- NO.
  • Does a service pet have to go through a class and be certified- NO.
  • Does a service pet have to have required vaccinations and required city licenses- YES.
  • For many other rules, go to www.ada.gov.

Service Pets Fair Housing Month

April 1st kicked off the National Fair Housing Month and celebrates TitleVIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 also known as the Fair Housing Act. This act was passed to allow every person regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and disibility to have equal access to housing choice.

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Ambassador
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Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate

Hi Kristin - That's great information. Colorado is now considering a law that would make falsely claiming a service animal a misdemeanor, in response to all of the phony certifications available online. It's going to be interesting to see how they work all of that out.

Apr 04, 2016 09:06 AM #1
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Anna Banana Kruchten Broker/Owner, CRB, CRS
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
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Kristin it's wise to be aware of the Fair housing rules and regs....good post!

Apr 04, 2016 10:51 AM #2
Rainmaker
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Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

I love the post. All property managers and landlords must read it.

Apr 04, 2016 11:39 PM #3
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Belinda Spillman
Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado - Aurora, CO
Colorado Living!

Very nice post.  It is important to know the rules and apply them accordingly.

Apr 05, 2016 02:18 AM #4
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Kristin Hamilton CA Realtor
Sun Lakes Realty - Banning, CA
(909) 557-6966- Specialize 55+ Communties Banning

Hi Dick,

That sounds like a good idea as we all keep reading about people pulling stuff and walking in to restaurants and stores saying this is my service dog. ADA and Fair Housing are conflicting rules now so I do not know what is going to happen.  I do not mind them on the airlines and usually they never make a peep after the plane takes off.

Apr 07, 2016 02:32 PM #5
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Kristin Hamilton CA Realtor
Sun Lakes Realty - Banning, CA
(909) 557-6966- Specialize 55+ Communties Banning

Hi Anna,

Yes it is important to know the rules. Thanks for stopping by!

 

Apr 07, 2016 02:33 PM #6
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Kristin Hamilton CA Realtor
Sun Lakes Realty - Banning, CA
(909) 557-6966- Specialize 55+ Communties Banning

Hi Gita,

My colleague does commercial leases daily and she is planning to attend a 2 hour course next month since the info has been updated recently.

Apr 07, 2016 02:35 PM #7
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Kristin Hamilton CA Realtor
Sun Lakes Realty - Banning, CA
(909) 557-6966- Specialize 55+ Communties Banning

Hi Belinda Spillman 

I remember the last time I took the course, I walked away just amazed at how anyone could complain about a manager, owner, or broker.

Apr 07, 2016 02:36 PM #8
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Drick Ward Property Management / Broker Assoc
NEPTUNE REALTY - Virginia Beach, VA
"RealtorDrick" - Experienced Representation

The ADA site (at the link you provided in the article) explicitly defines a service animal as "a DOG that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability."  The task must be DIRECTLY related to the person's disability.  If the task is not obvious (such as a seeing eye dog for a prospective tenant who presents as being blind), then it is acceptble to inquire "What task has the dog been trained to perform."

Although laws, rules, or practices may vary from one state to another, it appears that the ADA is steering clear of lending their weight to emotional support animals, because they are not individually trained to perform a specifc task.

As this is an evolving area of focus with much confusion, it's best to keep current on what is happening in your local market to ensure you remain in compliance and stay out of hot water.

 

Jul 16, 2016 02:54 AM #9
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Kristin Hamilton CA Realtor
Sun Lakes Realty - Banning, CA
(909) 557-6966- Specialize 55+ Communties Banning

Hi Drick Ward 

I totally agree with you and it is very confusing for agents, property owners and property managers. I see this is going to be discussed over and over for several more years until it is resolved. Hopefully all the states will unite with their rules and regulations but of course the federal government will probably have the last say and with NAR's help, they will resolve it. 

Jul 16, 2016 07:03 AM #10
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