Emotional support pet (by 1Gr81 [NC]) Apr 16, 2018 9:08 AM|
Emotional support pet (by Doogie [KS]) Apr 16, 2018 9:15 AM
Emotional support pet (by 1Gr81 [NC]) Apr 16, 2018 9:35 AM
Emotional support pet (by Ken [NY]) Apr 16, 2018 9:38 AM
Emotional support pet (by Barb [MO]) Apr 16, 2018 9:39 AM
Emotional support pet (by 1Gr81 [NC]) Apr 16, 2018 9:40 AM
Emotional support pet (by 1Gr81 [NC]) Apr 16, 2018 9:43 AM
Emotional support pet (by JB [OR]) Apr 16, 2018 9:59 AM
Emotional support pet (by 1Gr81 [NC]) Apr 16, 2018 10:03 AM
Emotional support pet (by LisaFL [FL]) Apr 16, 2018 10:10 AM
Emotional support pet (by 1Gr81 [NC]) Apr 16, 2018 10:23 AM
Emotional support pet (by CJ [MO]) Apr 16, 2018 10:36 AM
Emotional support pet (by myob [GA]) Apr 16, 2018 10:43 AM
Emotional support pet (by 1Gr81 [NC]) Apr 16, 2018 10:48 AM
Emotional support pet (by 1Gr81 [NC]) Apr 16, 2018 11:07 AM
Emotional support pet (by myob [GA]) Apr 16, 2018 11:44 AM
Emotional support pet (by Vee [OH]) Apr 16, 2018 11:48 AM
Emotional support pet (by S id [MO]) Apr 16, 2018 12:00 PM
Emotional support pet (by 1Gr81 [NC]) Apr 16, 2018 12:02 PM
Emotional support pet (by 1Gr81 [NC]) Apr 16, 2018 12:16 PM
Emotional support pet (by S i d [MO]) Apr 16, 2018 1:47 PM
Emotional support pet (by AllyM [NJ]) Apr 16, 2018 2:33 PM
Emotional support pet (by Jeffrey [VA]) Apr 16, 2018 5:53 PM
Emotional support pet (by 1Gr81 [NC]) Apr 16, 2018 8:27 PM
Emotional support pet (by Annie [IN]) Apr 17, 2018 7:04 AM
Emotional support pet (by Wilma [PA]) Apr 17, 2018 1:59 PM
Emotional support pet (by 1Gr81 [NC]) Apr 17, 2018 4:23 PM
Emotional support pet (by Nellie [ME]) Apr 17, 2018 8:19 PM
Emotional support pet (by John... [MI]) Apr 18, 2018 5:28 AM
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Emotional support pet (by 1Gr81 [NC]) Posted on: Apr 16, 2018 9:08 AM
Tenant w a large, supposedly "Properly documented."... "Protected by the equal opportunity housing act."...emotional support dog. (Facts that she was quick to point out during our correspondence.)
I am certain that this subject has been covered in depth, and yes, I will be spending some time in the archives a little later to educate myself. I guess I just came here to rant a bit and ask a couple of quick questions.
The rant....Quite frankly, I am disgusted by how soft we have become as a society and how so many apparently need "safe spaces" and the constant companionship of an animal for their emotions. Ugh!.. The fact that the government encourages this behavior by making it a protected class...should scare each and everyone of us. From a business perspective, I find it hard to believe that such emotionally fragile people could thrive in a work environment. Can you say...first to go, when the layoffs begin... Rant over.
That being said....As a landlord,(and a dog lover) I have always been very flexible w my pet policy. Of course I don't allow the vicious breeds, but I'm pretty open to anything else (accept aquariums). On this particular house, I have it listed as a no pet home. The main reason is because of the grumpy, always complaining, quick to involve the authorities, retired, always home, next door neighbors. I also have a particular fondness for this home, and wish to keep it special. I have allowed pets in the past but as you know, that has always come back to bite me, whether w damage/smells, or the aforementioned neighbor complaints.
So here are my questions (Finally 1Gr81!) What exactly is "proper documentation" of an emotional support animal? What should I be asking/looking for?
Should I inform the tenant of the reasons that this is a no pet home and let her assume the consequences of dealing w the neighbors?
I showed the home to her this morning and she had her dog with her. She subsequently let the dog walk all through the house w it's muddy feet. (we just had a big storm ). Thanks lady..I will assume this is an accurate representation of her entitlement mentality. The only option I see is to ask for a large deposit, and a pet fee. Maybe she will self deny.
Is there a legal limit to how much deposit I can ask for? Could that be considered discrimination? The home has hardwoods and no deposit will ever recover ruined floors. Again...It's a sad day when we can't make the best decisions for our own property because of some gov regulation! (Sorry, I slipped into rant mode again.)
I don't think she will pass my other criteria, but this situation has me thinking about improving my knowledge and avoiding the appearance of discrimination and the potentially expensive legal battle that could come w it.
What would you do? What have you done? --74.124.xxx.xxx
Emotional support pet (by Doogie [KS]) Posted on: Apr 16, 2018 9:15 AM
The archives have a ton of info on this topic. People (myself included) have ranted on this before. It sucks.
To answer your questions: You may not charge an additional deposit OR pet fee (which is why everyone is labeling their precious little Fido an ESA now). The proper documentation for an ESA is a prescription from a doc. There is no registry for them except for web companies. They only exist to make a buck and only look "official". If you deny, base it on anything legal BUT the ESA.
Emotional support pet (by 1Gr81 [NC]) Posted on: Apr 16, 2018 9:35 AM
Thanks Doogie I appreciate your thoughts.
I will be spending some time educating myself. I'm just looking for some quick guidance of how to communicate w this potential tenant and hopefully avoiding some landmines. I would describe her entitled attitude best as... An "activist" looking for her cause.
I didn't know you couldn't ask for an increased deposit. Crazy!
Thanks again. --74.124.xxx.xxx
Emotional support pet (by Ken [NY]) Posted on: Apr 16, 2018 9:38 AM
Don't make it about the dog but find another reason to reject.When I realized my low end tenants who were a problem all had an entitlement attitude and I got rid of them and started screening for that my life got a lot easier,it sounds like sh thinks she is special and I would reject her --72.231.xxx.xxx
Emotional support pet (by Barb [MO]) Posted on: Apr 16, 2018 9:39 AM
You are looking for a letter of medical necessity from a medical or mental health provider. The individual should be in treatment with that provider, and the letter should say the ESA is part of the treatment program.
Look for a license number on the letterhead. If it looks like it is from a scam site, such as USServiceDogs.com or the like, then take a closer look.
You can still require medical documentation about the dog, flea/tick preventative, etc. You can still require a signed animal agreement, you just can't deny BECAUSE of the animal, and you can't charge extra if an ESA.
I'd LOVE to see the documentation you get. If you can possibly upload a copy in the photos section :) (with the individual's name blacked out, of course). --131.151.xx.xx
Emotional support pet (by 1Gr81 [NC]) Posted on: Apr 16, 2018 9:40 AM
Ken. I agree w your assessment of the situation, and your plan I will be screening very well. Thanks.
Emotional support pet (by 1Gr81 [NC]) Posted on: Apr 16, 2018 9:43 AM
Thanks Barb. That's very helpful info. I appreciate it. I will update as the situation evolves. I've never uploaded pics here. I actually forgot hat was an option. I will definitely try, if it gets that far.
Thanks again --74.124.xxx.xxx
Emotional support pet (by JB [OR]) Posted on: Apr 16, 2018 9:59 AM
I reject people immediately if they don't wipe their feet before they enter my place. That would go for her dog too (when she didn't wipe its feet off from the rain/mud). She doesn't care what her animal will do...she proved that already. Bamm...rejected! Move on. --50.45.xxx.xxx
Emotional support pet (by 1Gr81 [NC]) Posted on: Apr 16, 2018 10:03 AM
My thoughts as well JB.
I had to ignore my very strong instincts to ask her to leave the dog outside. It had it's ESA..."Don't pet" armor (for lack of a better word) on. In the end my southern politeness (and respect for the expense of lawsuits) won out the day. :) --74.124.xxx.xxx
Emotional support pet (by LisaFL [FL]) Posted on: Apr 16, 2018 10:10 AM
Not everyone must follow FHA rules:
As written, the FHA covers most ó but not all ó housing. Some exemptions to coverage under the FHA include: (a) owner-occupied buildings with no more than four units (which is commonly known as the Mrs. Murphy exemption); (b) single family housing sold or rented without the use of a broker if the private individual owner does not own more than three such single family homes at one time; or (c) housing operated by organizations and private clubs that limit occupancy to members.
Did you ask before showing the home how many animals she had? Is she the only interested person you had? I'd find a way to deny her. It's crazy enough when they come up with this to avoid paying pet fees but to push their animal on a no-pet rental is beyond entitled. I'd sell before I was bullied into that. --75.89.xx.xxx
Emotional support pet (by 1Gr81 [NC]) Posted on: Apr 16, 2018 10:23 AM
Lisafl. Yup. That's part of what grates my nerves. The home is specifically advertised as a no pet home, because of the above mentioned grumpy (maybe rightfully...idk) neighbors. I also reveal this in every phone call/text/email. So yeah...just somebody looking for a cause.
It's a very cute house in a very desirable neighborhood. (I can't often say that w my houses. lol) I received at least a dozen inquiries within hours of posting it. Multiple drive-bys the first day I put out the signs. I have shown it to multiple people over the last three days since listing. This home always rents quickly. It's just a matter of picking the correct tenant.
That being said, the entitlement attitude of this potential tenant, and activist stance of reminding me of her "rights", so early in the process, has my mind on high alert and attempting to approach this w professional grace, rather than my usual, "Oh, h#ll no!" often escaping, inner thoughts. lol.
Just trying to avoid landmines while I educate myself.
Thanks again --74.124.xxx.xxx
Emotional support pet (by CJ [MO]) Posted on: Apr 16, 2018 10:36 AM
We have a couple of group wanting to view our rentals, saying they have ESA for their kids. Lying people are the most irresponsible and worst tenants. I do not think their job, rental history qualify at all. I am scared to deny them. --97.91.xxx.xxx
Emotional support pet (by myob [GA]) Posted on: Apr 16, 2018 10:43 AM
you would have told someone smoking to put it out before entering wouldn't you? so the pet has to stay outside-- because what if you don't rent and there's now dog odor.
Make unruly kids also stay outside.
I have stopped many an interview in my time LL'ing. when people start nit picking a property I usually announce-- OK gotta go this showing is over. They ask BUT WHY I say we're just not a match. You want new construction and this is a 20 year old house. Start turning out lights and moving to front door. Some mention "man your rude" I answer-- yes I am sorry.
Pet support-- need certification -- need up to date shots and lastly pet insurance (renter insurance rider) 1 year paid in full policy. Takes time for that and most times the place gets rented before. Caller ID keeps me form answering. --99.103.xxx.xxx
Emotional support pet (by 1Gr81 [NC]) Posted on: Apr 16, 2018 10:48 AM
CJ, It seems like Barb's great advice above is a pretty solid place to start.
"You are looking for a letter of medical necessity from a medical or mental health provider. The individual should be in treatment with that provider, and the letter should say the ESA is part of the treatment program."
I lived w a pathological liar for 22 years (my X)....yes...they are the worst.
I understand your apprehension of dealing w your potential tenants. They will also lie in court. Ask me how I know. lol
Just play it polite and safe. Document everything. Best of luck.
Emotional support pet (by 1Gr81 [NC]) Posted on: Apr 16, 2018 11:07 AM
Myob. Funny you should say that. I have asked many people in the past to put out a cigarette before entering a home. I was thinking about that today (honestly, after the fact). I have also rushed them through the showing, knowing there is no way they would EVER get approved.
This "emotional support animal" has a bit of a new feeling to it, though. A bad feeling. It reminds me of the skewed direction our laws appear to be heading and the freedoms we are giving up. It disappoints me greatly.
I like your thoughts about certification and I will be adding those to the conversation. Thank you. Very helpful.
I have also programmed her number into my phone appropriately. :) --74.124.xxx.xxx
Emotional support pet (by myob [GA]) Posted on: Apr 16, 2018 11:44 AM
1gr81 OT somewhat. We cruise a lot. We see many dogs on ships lately. Where are these dogs going to the bathroom? Yea I know they have those chucks for the floor but I know from my sister in law that's a joke-- her dogs pooped and missed those things. So now you have dog doooo and next person comes in to cabin-- let' face it who would suspect pets had been in there for 7 to 15 days? Peeing and pooping? So we have accommodated the person for companionship but put some else's health at greater risk? what happen to the common good? --99.103.xxx.xxx
Emotional support pet (by Vee [OH]) Posted on: Apr 16, 2018 11:48 AM
A home visit may guide you further on this animal, all-in-all the animal owner must take care of the disharges, along with any damages created by the guests or animals. I see this problem often as well as behavior, check with your city/county, mine demand vaccination yearly and I am allowed to request photo vet records to prove it.
It really is not too bad once you know the correct terminology and documentation to request. --76.188.xxx.xx
Emotional support pet (by S id [MO]) Posted on: Apr 16, 2018 12:00 PM
Yes, you would do well to dive into the archives here and read a lot...today. I know you don't post here as frequently as some do, but this topic gets covered almost every week. By the end of today I recommending knowing what the difference is among ESAs, service animals, therapy animals, and pets...what's allowed/what's not.
For this applicant you can deny with no problem because of the damages the applicant did to the unit. Unless she pays the full cost to re-clean the carpets, simply deny based on dirtying up the unit.
One of my favorite screening criteria: "Applicant must behave courteously toward staff, contractors and property manager, indicate an ability to keep the property clean and perform standard housekeeping acts, and act in a cooperative manner throughout the screening process."
This criteria alone can be used to effectively deny MANY poor applicants, the entitlement crowd in particular. It also works when kids are loud or obnoxious, if they show up late to the appointment, if they lose the application 3 times, have really bad B.O., etc. Lots of just normally irritating behaviors that speak to a lack of care, responsibility, and cooperation.
For example, if I have to tell them to put out a cigarette before walking inside...denied. That's a "duh" courtesy not to smoke in someone elses' house. Animals with muddy feet...same deal. --173.17.xx.xx
Emotional support pet (by 1Gr81 [NC]) Posted on: Apr 16, 2018 12:02 PM
Myob. Sure..it's OT, but I'm in a pet ranting mood! lol.
As a single guy, I am "out" a lot. Coffee shops, micro breweries, box stores, I tent camp on the weekends. You can't even move these days w out bumping into a dog at these places. It drives me crazy! Don't get me wrong, I love dogs. I am a lifetime, the dog is part of the family, lives inside w me, kinda guy, but for the life of me, can't understand why people would want the hassle of dragging their dogs everywhere, not to mention the way they are always having to pull them apart from potential fights or (wishfully)out from under stranger's (my)feet. Don't even get me started on a barking dog at a campground. ugh!
I just think that this dog mania has gone too far. At least the cats stay on the internet. :) --74.124.xxx.xxx
Emotional support pet (by 1Gr81 [NC]) Posted on: Apr 16, 2018 12:16 PM
Great all encompassing criteria Sid. I have added it into my potential ideas file. Thank you.
I can't help but wonder at what part of the process that it comes up. I don't necessarily tell people why they weren't approved, just that they weren't. Do you tell people that this is why they were rejected, or just keep it as part of your written criteria?
My thought experiment... In this particular instance, my guess is that no matter why I reject her, she will assume it is because of the pet...maybe she has a chip on her shoulder and decides to sue me. I would need to hire a lawyer. In court I would share this criteria. I would win. Unfortunately, I would still have incurred the expense.
And you are correct, I often get busy and forget that this amazing place of support and knowledge exist. I get so used to doing everything myself that I often forget to ask for (and give) help. I need to change that. This site has made me a much better landlord.
Thanks for sharing your ideas.
Emotional support pet (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Apr 16, 2018 1:47 PM
While it is true that anyone can (and occasionally does) sue for frivolous reasons or false assumptions, most often there has to be at least some indication that wrongdoing took place for an attorney to get interested enough to pursue it. They have to smell a paycheck because your average applicant is broke and has no money for a retainer.
No, I never TELL anyone why they are not approved. I ask them to mail a self-addressed, stamped envelope to me and we'll send them more detail. Been doing this since 2005...never got a single letter. If they ever do, I have legit reasons for why they were denied. --173.17.xx.xx
Emotional support pet (by AllyM [NJ]) Posted on: Apr 16, 2018 2:33 PM
The dog already damaged the place. Wouldn't that be all you need to screen her out? Disregard for the cleanliness of the unit. Or don't give her a reason. Did you do the credit check yet? I think you will find something you can use. --69.141.xxx.xxx
Emotional support pet (by Jeffrey [VA]) Posted on: Apr 16, 2018 5:53 PM
1Gr81, I am not sure if someone addressed one of your first questions. Definitely you should NOT inform the tenant of the reasons that this is a no pet home and let her assume the consequences of dealing w the neighbors.
From a fair housing perspective, and as crazy as this may sound, but that is seen as a similar no-no as telling some one with children may not want to live here because the neighbors have big problems with children OR telling a black couple they may not want to live here because the neighbors have big problems with anyone other than their own race.
Emotional support pet (by 1Gr81 [NC]) Posted on: Apr 16, 2018 8:27 PM
I appreciate all of the amazing input. I am grateful.
Sid, I agree, but sometimes putting myself in the mental state of "Could you get sued?" helps me put things into perspective. A side note, though...I had one of my sec 8 tenants take me to small claims because I wouldn't take down some blinds for her when she moved. (Long story) The short version...I won. The long version requires a couple of beers to tell. ;)
Jeffery. I hadn't really thought of that. Thank you for pointing it out. I guess the whole world has gone crazy when we can't even warn someone about the dog hating crazy neighbors next door. I weep for the future.
Emotional support pet (by Annie [IN]) Posted on: Apr 17, 2018 7:04 AM
Usually the person can be screened out for something else. Most of these applicants are deadbeats who have been evicted or have unpaid judgements in their history that we can document and turn them down on those issues. We don't rent to anyone who has been evicted in the last 5 years or who has UNPAID judgements in their past. --107.77.xx.xx
Emotional support pet (by Wilma [PA]) Posted on: Apr 17, 2018 1:59 PM
You're lucky that she showed her colors up front, rather than being sweet as pie, getting the place, THEN bringing the dog.
But be careful - she could be a HUD tester. Treat her application exactly like everyone else's - go over it with a fine-toothed comb.
Good luck! --71.175.xxx.xx
Emotional support pet (by 1Gr81 [NC]) Posted on: Apr 17, 2018 4:23 PM
Wilma, I was thinking the same thing. I am grateful that she brought all of her red flags w her on her first visit. ;) Bullet dodged.....hopefully.
For those of you keeping score...Three post about this issue in 2 days. Can we declare this an epidemic yet? --74.124.xxx.xxx
Emotional support pet (by Nellie [ME]) Posted on: Apr 17, 2018 8:19 PM
Yes, I had noticed a plethora of ESA posts. Unfortunately, a sign of the times.
I had a prospective tenant hand me a card for her ESA that turned out to be one from an online place when she came to view the apartment. Glad she didnít apply because her story of moving to the area had some holes in it, in addition to the obvious NOT real ESA paperwork. --64.222.xxx.xx
Emotional support pet (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Apr 18, 2018 5:28 AM
People need to be careful. Lately, I've seen a lot of you going "Their documentation was from some online place, so I knew it was fake."
I did a little research on this a couple months ago when it came up. Most of the "online" places that I found actually do a referral to a local "healthcare professional" that writes the actual letter. From my reading, it looked like those documents WOULD qualify as proper ESA documentation.
I don't like it, of course, but that is reality.
I just think people need to be careful before doing the "I don't accept any paperwork from some online website place" thing. Again, most of those places are not just churning out letters themselves -- they are smarted than that and know it won't float. Instead, they are referring to actual doctors or other "healthcare professionals" for the final letter. If you start rejecting those because they happen to have originated online, I think you're going to be in some real trouble eventually. Testers are coming -- and they will use those online places too.
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