Companion Dog Laws in Rental Home

Medical professionals have known about the advantages that”assistance” dogs supply to impaired patients. They function as seeing-eye dogs, hearing dogs or in a capacity that they have been specially trained for to aid their owners that are diminished. Only recently, but has the medical profession recognized the therapeutic advantages that”companion” dogs provide to mentally or emotionally impaired men and women.

Service Dogs vs. Companion Dogs

Specific assistance is provided by service dogs for their owners. They’re trained exhaustively by professional dog handlers and therefore are analyzed repeatedly to make sure that they perform flawlessly. Seeing-eye puppies, for example, guide their vision-impaired owners via visitors, around obstacles and securely in and about the house. In contrast, companion dogs are not trained for any particular tasks, but instead offer loving companionship to mentally impaired people or to people with post-traumatic or depression stress disorder. It’s often the absence of any formal training which leads to landlords to deny residency to tenants with companion puppies within their pet-free housing, because of their mistaken belief that companion puppies, unlike pet dogs, are only pets.

The Law

To tackle landlords’ mistaken notions about impaired tenants and their companion puppies, federal mandates tackle the issue directly. For example, under federal law 42 U.S.C. ยง 3604(f)(3)(B ) ) it is illegal to refuse to make”reasonable accommodations” to impaired tenants if the landlord will not suffer financial or administrative burdens because of those lodging. The Department of Housing and Urban Development announced that a landlord’s waiver of its own”no pets” policy to impaired tenants with companion puppies does actually constitute this type of reasonable accommodation. Further, the Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Federal Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 require that handicapped individuals receive equal rights to housing that’s also offered to people without disabilities.

“No Pets” Waiver Under Section 504

Housing governments that receive financial aid from the federal government, such as public housing projects, are subject to the provisions of Section 504. Under this law, potential tenants might apply for a waiver of an institution’s no-pets policy by qualifying their handicap with a doctor’s prescription or notice of handicap. That handicap must be a mental incapacitation or a distinctive learning disability that adversely affects the tenant’s ability to function properly on a daily basis. Courts have held, however, that tenants must also”otherwise be eligible” with normal rental qualifications such as creditworthiness and good rental references for landlords to be compelled to accept their rental applications.

“No Pets” Waiver Underneath FHAA

Whereas Section 504 applies only to public housing, the FHAA also addresses companion puppies privately rentals. Here, also, the renter must be eligible with a doctor’s confirmation of a handicap so as to receive a waiver of the landlord’s no-pets policy. There are exemptions to the FHAA, nevertheless. Landlords who reside in a building of four or fewer components, for example, or people who have fewer or three single-family houses, need not comply with all the FHAA if they do not use a certified real estate agent to rent their leases.

Effect of a”No Pets” Waiver on Landlords

Even though the law protects handicapped tenants, it does not expect landlords to endure financial or administrative burdens by waiving their no-pets policies. Courts have also ruled that handicapped tenants may only be eligible for a no-pets policy waiver if reasonable alternatives to a companion dog are unavailable. They’ve maintained a landlord’s right to deny a no-pets policy waiver if this policy is essential to the housing program, or in the event the handicapped tenant is not able to conform to the rules of property and the company dog compromises the protection of another tenants. So far, but most landlords have been ineffective in arguing a denial of a no-pets waiver in court, primarily on account of their couple numbers of emotionally handicapped tenants who actually qualify for a lease.

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