service animal
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service animal (by Sue [ID]) Mar 19, 2018 12:53 PM
       service animal (by Richard [MI]) Mar 19, 2018 1:15 PM
       service animal (by S i d [MO]) Mar 19, 2018 1:24 PM
       service animal (by RB [MI]) Mar 19, 2018 1:43 PM
       service animal (by Barb [MO]) Mar 19, 2018 2:28 PM
       service animal (by CJ [MO]) Mar 19, 2018 5:10 PM
       service animal (by David [KY]) Mar 19, 2018 7:34 PM
       service animal (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Mar 19, 2018 10:44 PM
       service animal (by Vee [OH]) Mar 20, 2018 4:26 AM
       service animal (by David [KY]) Mar 20, 2018 5:23 AM
       service animal (by Vee [OH]) Mar 20, 2018 8:14 AM
       service animal (by John... [MI]) Mar 20, 2018 10:47 AM
       service animal (by John... [MI]) Mar 20, 2018 10:48 AM
       service animal (by Barb [MO]) Mar 20, 2018 11:04 AM
       service animal (by Barb [MO]) Mar 20, 2018 11:09 AM
       service animal (by Robert J [CA]) Mar 20, 2018 11:16 AM
       service animal (by Ray-N-Pa [PA]) Mar 20, 2018 11:59 AM
       service animal (by John... [MI]) Mar 20, 2018 12:40 PM
       service animal (by John... [MI]) Mar 20, 2018 12:43 PM
       service animal (by Ray-N-Pa [PA]) Mar 20, 2018 1:07 PM
       service animal (by John... [MI]) Mar 20, 2018 2:04 PM
       service animal (by LisaFL [FL]) Mar 20, 2018 3:42 PM
       service animal (by GKARL [PA]) Mar 20, 2018 3:45 PM
       service animal (by John... [MI]) Mar 20, 2018 5:19 PM
       service animal (by LisaFL [FL]) Mar 20, 2018 6:27 PM
       service animal (by GKARL [PA]) Mar 20, 2018 6:49 PM
       service animal (by David [KY]) Mar 21, 2018 3:57 AM
       service animal (by John... [MI]) Mar 21, 2018 5:34 AM
       service animal (by John... [MI]) Mar 21, 2018 5:35 AM
       service animal (by David [KY]) Mar 21, 2018 6:22 AM
       service animal (by John... [MI]) Mar 21, 2018 9:36 AM
       service animal (by LisaFL [FL]) Mar 21, 2018 3:18 PM
       service animal (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Mar 21, 2018 9:59 PM
       service animal (by Sue [ID]) Mar 21, 2018 10:42 PM
       service animal (by Sue [ID]) Mar 21, 2018 10:58 PM
       service animal (by John... [MI]) Mar 22, 2018 5:49 AM
       service animal (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Mar 22, 2018 8:31 AM
       service animal (by John... [MI]) Mar 22, 2018 9:10 AM

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service animal (by Sue [ID]) Posted on: Mar 19, 2018 12:53 PM
Message:

is it true that all someone has to do is get a letter from their doctor and I have to let them move an animal into my building? an "emotional support" animal? --66.192.xxx.xxx




service animal (by Richard [MI]) Posted on: Mar 19, 2018 1:15 PM
Message:

Pretty bad, wouldn't you say?

I asked a doctor I know and was told " just like the disability stickers/plates some people get, when a customer wants one, we just give it to them. It's easier than denying it and getting sued. Let the police deal with it"

Sad but true.Bill

Find something else to disqualify yhem. --96.94.xxx.xx




service animal (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Mar 19, 2018 1:24 PM
Message:

Sue, welcome!

My guess is you're new here. We talk about this issue weekly, so if you'll use the Search tool at the top of this page and type in "ESA" you'll get a ton of info.

Basically, the answer to you question is 'yes.' But, as Richard says, there are often other legals ways to DQ folks. The basic idea of Fair Housing laws is you have to apply your criteria equally to everyone, so if you would normally allow this person to rent and the ONLY DIFFERENCE is the ESA, then you can't deny him, and can't charge a pet deposit or fee.

Good tenants with legitimate ESAs can be a good thing. They probably have to put up with a lot of ignorant LL's who ignore Federal Fair Housing Laws, so if they find someone who knows the law and abides by it, you may have an excellent, long-term tenant. If they aren't a good tenant, or if their ESA does damage or aggressive toward strangers/you, then that may create a situation where you can deny legitimately. The trick is, you have to find the GOOD TENANT who has an ESA...and reject the bad tenants, just like you would normally.

Btw, any animal (pet, ESA, service critter, etc) that will be in one of my rentals must pass my "meet the critter" test, which is when I do an in-home visit where they all currently live. I smell, I listen, I look for damages. I try to "make nice" with the animal and see how he responds to me. Stink, damage, filth, or aggressive behavior means I deny. We're not required to allow animals of any kind to tear up our property or attack us. If you see the tenant has trashed their current home, that's also a legitimate reason to deny that has nothing to do with ESA.

Screen, screen, screen... --173.17.xx.xx




service animal (by RB [MI]) Posted on: Mar 19, 2018 1:43 PM
Message:

That's Screen x3. (Effort)

If the Shoe dont Fit, dont wear it. --47.35.xx.xx




service animal (by Barb [MO]) Posted on: Mar 19, 2018 2:28 PM
Message:

I do not only a "Meet the critter" test, but their critter has to be non-aggressive to MY critter (who is actually a trained SD himself).

You'd be amazed how many people self-screen out when I explain that one!

BTW, I allow pets, with additional pet fees. It keeps the ESAs to the minimum that I actually permit the animals. --64.251.xxx.xxx




service animal (by CJ [MO]) Posted on: Mar 19, 2018 5:10 PM
Message:

Some prospects say it is service animal and you have to accept it by law. What do we say? --97.91.xxx.xxx




service animal (by David [KY]) Posted on: Mar 19, 2018 7:34 PM
Message:

These days I am doing month to month leases for the most part so I can get rid of people like this asap. --76.117.xxx.xx




service animal (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Posted on: Mar 19, 2018 10:44 PM
Message:

Sue,

Yes, but they don't even need the letter and you cannot require any documentation.

A few states are clamping down on this. Here's Idaho info

www.idaholegalaid.org/node/2388/fair-housing-assistive-animals

BRAD --68.51.xx.xxx




service animal (by Vee [OH]) Posted on: Mar 20, 2018 4:26 AM
Message:

This rolls in here a few times a month, before you spend anytime talking with an applicant you need to landlord upon the subject, take fair housing classes or at least read here using the search tool and service dog. --76.188.xxx.xx




service animal (by David [KY]) Posted on: Mar 20, 2018 5:23 AM
Message:

Brad, that Idaho article is horrifying. --173.239.xxx.xxx




service animal (by Vee [OH]) Posted on: Mar 20, 2018 8:14 AM
Message:

I think it is very good, describes that under some conditions the owner/manager may deny the animal in a no pet zone (insurance cost increase, animal owner must always clean up - there are now apartment building which want to get doggy dna and this justifies the cost of dna to the animal owner too), no aggression to others (discussed here last week), I have printed it out and plan to comply much like in the past except I need to find a suitable dna test source for the owners. --76.188.xxx.xx




service animal (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Mar 20, 2018 10:47 AM
Message:

Brad: What are you talking about when you say that they don't need the letter? It looks like, even in Idaho, landlords are still allowed to ask for documentation for an ESA. The link that you posted has a PDF right on it that says this:

"The person requesting the Reasonable Accommodation may need to provide documentation from a qualified professional (e.g., physician, psychiatrist, social worker) to prove they have a need for the assistive animal."

So, I'm not sure why you are saying otherwise.

- John...

--24.180.xxx.xxx




service animal (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Mar 20, 2018 10:48 AM
Message:

David: What is horrifying about it? It's pretty much the same old stuff that we've been dealing with and discussing here for years. I don't see anything special about the Idaho stuff -- it pretty much follows the federal law as we know it.

- John...

--24.180.xxx.xxx




service animal (by Barb [MO]) Posted on: Mar 20, 2018 11:04 AM
Message:

You can ask for documentation.

www.hud.gov/program_offices/fair_housing_equal_opp/ReasonableAccommodations15

It states: A provider is entitled to obtain information that is necessary to evaluate if a requested reasonable accommodation may be necessary because of a disability. If a personís disability is obvious, or otherwise known to the provider, and if the need for the requested accommodation is also readily apparent or known, then the provider may not request any additional information.† If the disability and/or the disability-related reason for the requested accommodation is not known or obvious, the requesting individual, medical professional, a peer support group, a non-medical service agency, or a reliable third party who is in a position to know about the individual's disability may also provide verification of a disability. In most cases, an individual's medical records or detailed information about the nature of a person's disability is not necessary for this inquiry.†

So, this means that if a person takes a taxi to your home to view it, and has a dog with them they claim is their seeing eye dog or guide dog for the blind, and they seem trained, such as stopping at the step, wait while the handler adjusts, says "let's go" stopping at door entrance for handler to reach out, seems to lead the person, they are not going to be asked to provide proof. A dog trained by Guide dogs for the Blind puts the training of mine to SHAME!

If the prospect is in a wheelchair and the handler says to the dog, "pull", grabs the harness and gets pulled up over the step/curb, then goes in says "Fido Lights" and Fido seeks a light switch and flips it to turn on or off the lights, no documentation needed.

If they claim it does diabetic alert, you can ask for more info. A diabetic alert dog is normally used by a T1 diabetic. The handler will have supplies. Always. For a seizure alert dog or a psychiatric service dog, you can ask for a letter from a medical or mental health provider attesting to the person having a disability and using the dog to accommodate the disability.

For an emotional support animal (which does not need to be a dog), you can ask for a letter from any mental health provider stating they have a disability as listed in the DSM V and the animal is part of the treatment plan. --64.251.xxx.xxx




service animal (by Barb [MO]) Posted on: Mar 20, 2018 11:09 AM
Message:

Sometimes it isn't exact. I had a widow move in last summer. Her MD wrote her a letter than she needed her dog for "comfort after the loss of her husband"

I had already bumped up the rent from the previous tenant. I accepted her letter without question. She is still struggling, but paying rent and taking care of the house.

I'd love to sell her the home, if she could ever get a decent job allowing her to qualify for the mortgage! --64.251.xxx.xxx




service animal (by Robert J [CA]) Posted on: Mar 20, 2018 11:16 AM
Message:

Applicant states we have no pets! Then another family member shows up to look at the property with a dog. Turns out to be the first applicants dog, they lied. I did not process the application because I don't do business with pathological lairs.

Then when the City comes down hard on me for not taking a emotional support animal, I state, they didn't fill out my "dog" packet. The City states I never gave them a packet. I agree that I didn't give them a "dog" packet because they lied and said they didn't have a "dog".

My packet requests the necessary information on the "dog" and their "owners". You know, simple stuff like:

a) provide a copy of the dog's annual license.

b) provide proof from you veterinarian that the dog has had all of it's shots, vaccinations, etc.

c) letter from doctor that proves you need an emotional support animal. Doctors phone, address license are required.

d) copy of your current renter's insurance covering you dog in case it bites someone and covers the landlord from liability.

Since most tenants live from hand to mouth, paycheck to paycheck, they never have all of their ducks in a row and won't be able to provide you with the necessary documentation on their dog. In the mean time, accent another applicant. --47.156.xx.xx




service animal (by Ray-N-Pa [PA]) Posted on: Mar 20, 2018 11:59 AM
Message:

Times sure do change........

15 years ago, a service animal for me would eventually end up on a spit and got roasted for Easter dinner. Our pigs served to feed us.

--24.101.xxx.xxx




service animal (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Mar 20, 2018 12:40 PM
Message:

Barb: Yes, it is clear that we can ask for documentation. Brad is simply mistaken (again) about these sorts of animals. :(

- John...

--24.180.xxx.xxx




service animal (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Mar 20, 2018 12:43 PM
Message:

Robert J: If you asked if they had PETS and they said no -- and then you denied because of the ESA -- then they did NOT lie and you violated federal law.

ESAs are not "pets" by definition by law. Therefore, they are under no legal obligation to answer "yes" to a question regarding "pets."

Later you said that they said they didn't have a dog. That's very different than asking if they have a PET.

My guess is that it is YOU that are making the mistake with your wording. City was probably right, sorry.

- John...

--24.180.xxx.xxx




service animal (by Ray-N-Pa [PA]) Posted on: Mar 20, 2018 1:07 PM
Message:

John,

Did I make a mistake by saying BBQ pork taste great? --24.101.xxx.xxx




service animal (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Mar 20, 2018 2:04 PM
Message:

Yes, but it was worthless drivel, so I ignored it. :)

- John...

--24.180.xxx.xxx




service animal (by LisaFL [FL]) Posted on: Mar 20, 2018 3:42 PM
Message:

Yes John, tenants will play the "I didn't tell you I had a dog because you asked if I had pets and my ESA is not a pet, so I didn't lie game." Just like children lie.

Therefore we need to be careful to ask what animals will they be bringing to live in or at the home. This includes all animals: pets, service, emotional support, therapy, caged, indoor, outdoor, and farm animals.

This helps eliminate surprises. Do not use the word pet. Use the word animal. --75.89.xx.xxx




service animal (by GKARL [PA]) Posted on: Mar 20, 2018 3:45 PM
Message:

I've not dealt with this issue and I know you can't charge extra deposits or fees, but what if the tenant is in a m2m rental agreement and you just raise the rent? I'd either do that or non renew. --64.121.xxx.xxx




service animal (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Mar 20, 2018 5:19 PM
Message:

GKARL: If you "just raise the rent" because the tenant brought in an ESA or Service Animal, then you are violating federal law.

If that is fine with you and/or you feel that you are unlikely to be caught and/or sued, then it might be a good suggestion, sure.

- John...

--96.40.xx.xx




service animal (by LisaFL [FL]) Posted on: Mar 20, 2018 6:27 PM
Message:

Unfortunately when things are forced upon landlords that potentially come with extra costs rents will need to be raised across the board to make proving rental home to people feasible.

If individuals can't be charged to cover their specific needs cost for everyone go up. Somebody has to pay.

Advice I gave to someone with an ESA pit bull looking for rental housing. Be honest. Get renter's insurance with adequate liability coverage to show a higher level of responsibility. Offer to pay a higher deposit even though it's not required. Help alleviate the landlord's fears/concerns. --75.89.xx.xxx




service animal (by GKARL [PA]) Posted on: Mar 20, 2018 6:49 PM
Message:

John, why would the rent increase have anything to do with the animal? In a m2m scenario, why couldn't I raise the rent or not renew? --207.172.xx.xxx




service animal (by David [KY]) Posted on: Mar 21, 2018 3:57 AM
Message:

With a month to month lease I need no reason not to renew their lease. Simple as that. They want to play that game, they need to find a new home. If needed I will lie to get rid of them. --173.239.xxx.x




service animal (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Mar 21, 2018 5:34 AM
Message:

GKARL: We're in a thread about how to handle ESAs and you suggested raising the rent. I think it clearly has something to do with the animal. heh.

Again, if you're saying that it likely wouldn't be NOTICED or that you wouldn't be CAUGHT do it, then so be it. But, in this situation where we're discussing ESAs and you suggested raising the rent or not renewing, it seems pretty obvious what your intent was.

David: Just because you don't need a reason to not renew does NOT mean that you wouldn't get sued (and likely lose) when you do it right after someone brings in an ESA.

Again, this is all fine if you are comfortable with violating federal law. David here admits that he will LIE to get rid of them. Clearly, he's not worried about the law.

I'm not arguing that is right or wrong -- as I said, it all depends on what you are comfortable with and your likelihood of being sued over it.

Just remember that they ARE legit Service Animals AND Emotional Support Animals out there. Punishing ALL of them because SOME of them cheat the system doesn't sit well with me. If it does with you, so be it.

- John...

--24.180.xxx.xxx




service animal (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Mar 21, 2018 5:35 AM
Message:

LisaFL: If you are raising rents for EVERYONE, then that's fine. That didn't seem to be what was suggested by some here. They seemed to very specifically be talking about raising the rent or not renewing the person with the ESA. They weren't talking about KEEPING the person with the ESA and raising rents for all of their units to help cover any potential issues in the future.

What you are stating is very different from what others here were suggesting.

- John...

--24.180.xxx.xxx




service animal (by David [KY]) Posted on: Mar 21, 2018 6:22 AM
Message:

What ESA? They never said anything about any ESA. In fact I didn't even know they had a pet at the property Your Honor.

If tenant has proof of text sent to me about the ESA I will tell judge I am moving into the unit. I do that on all vacancies anyways. --173.239.xxx.x




service animal (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Mar 21, 2018 9:36 AM
Message:

As I said, that's fine. Some of us are not the types to lie to a judge to get what we want as you seem to be suggesting there (since you say that you'll only do an alternative if you know that they can PROVE that they told you it was an ESA).

To each their own, I guess. I'm just not one to base my business around lying to a judge. Two wrongs don't make a right for me in this case.

- John...

--24.180.xxx.xxx




service animal (by LisaFL [FL]) Posted on: Mar 21, 2018 3:18 PM
Message:

But when you have to raise rents for everyone to cover potential losses and liability due to a few who are unwilling to pay for their own special needs you are punishing everyone due to a few.

Perfect case of the government causing increased costs for everyone. No wonder there is less and less affordable housing. Then they will create new programs and regulations to try to solve the very problems they tried to solve. Our government, proverbial self-licking ice cream cone. --75.89.xx.xxx




service animal (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Posted on: Mar 21, 2018 9:59 PM
Message:

Barb,

That Reasonable Accommodation clause is generic, perhaps for items such as ramps, handrails, etc. The service animal laws are more specific and very clear: we can only ask the two allowed questions as listed in the law, we cannot ask for documentation

and

*MY* Fair Housing Office's policy is to ask for the official LETTER OF MEDICAL NECESSITY if the need is challenged.

BRAD --68.51.xx.xxx




service animal (by Sue [ID]) Posted on: Mar 21, 2018 10:42 PM
Message:

Before my landlord days I knew a woman who moved into a no pets allowed property, then went to get the letter from her doctor saying she needed an emotional support animal. Then she proceeded to move her new pet dog into the house. She told everyone how she got around the no pets rule and didn't have to pay a deposit.

Something wrong here. --172.56.xx.xxx




service animal (by Sue [ID]) Posted on: Mar 21, 2018 10:58 PM
Message:

At the time I thought her landlord just didn't know what he was doing and so this happened to him. I can see from all this discussion that the support animal question is a huge challenge. --172.56.xx.xx




service animal (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Mar 22, 2018 5:49 AM
Message:

Brad: You were still wrong on this. This is about an ESA. You told the original landlord asking their question that they couldn't ask for documentation. That is wrong -- period.

- John...

--24.180.xxx.xxx




service animal (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Posted on: Mar 22, 2018 8:31 AM
Message:

My information is based on a face to face meeting with my local Fair Housing director who handed me a printout of the law - the very person who will sue me if I do it wrong- not snippets from the internet.

To clarify: if challenged HER OFFICE will request the LETTER OF MEDICAL NECESSITY, not me.

BRAD --68.51.xx.xxx




service animal (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Mar 22, 2018 9:10 AM
Message:

Your information is either wrong or you are passing it along to us incorrectly. The FHAA and subsequent guidance is pretty clear that we CAN ask for documentation regarding the need for an ESA.

How about you tell us what law you are referring to in your printout and what it says exactly that indicates that you may not ask for that documentation?

And what do you mean "if challenged?" Aren't you basically "challenging" anyone that applies with an animal for a no-pets apartment? You'd basically be going "Is this an Emotional Support Animal?" Are you saying that if someone answers "Yes" to that, then you just take them with no other verification?

- John...

--24.180.xxx.xxx



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