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Pets vs. Service Animals in Rentals

System - Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Landlord Study Hall: Pets vs. Service Animals in Rentals

John and Laura enjoyed their first Landlord Study Hall. There was discussion on pets vs. service animals. Basically a service animal is not considered a pet in the rental world. Landlords must very careful when referring to these animals, there are strict laws protecting the rights of service animals which range from Seeing Eye dogs to comfort animals, all service animals are allowed in rentals and cannot be discriminated against or called PETS.

The question was asked, "Can a pet deposit be applied to service animals?" The answer: NO.
Can pet rental be applied to service animals? The answer: NO.

How does a landlord know if the tenant has a pet or service animal? Answer: Service animals have legal documents, like a doctor or agency that has qualified the need for the person to have the service animal. A tenant can be asked to show these documents, along with proof of the animal's current license and the shot records (for proof the immunizations are current.

If a service animal becomes vicious to other tenants, if the tenant does not clean up after the service animal in the yard as defined in the rental contract, the tenant can be given notice and ultimately can be evicted if the problem is not corrected.

Property insurance companies can no longer discriminate against any breed if it's a service animal. They can if a dog is not a service animal, our property insurance will not cover 5 breeds of dogs, but service animals are exempt from that.

Created by: John and Laura Holbrook

Monday, June 13, 2011

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