Property Management Education

10 Words You Never Want to Hear from Your Tenant

  • When is a pet considered a service animal?
  • Are there cases when landlords can deny service animals?
  • The three criteria tenants must meet to qualify for having a service animal on your property.

"I am getting a service animal, and it’s a turkey."

While this may seem silly or unrealistic, the truth is that this is a true story! As a landlord, what do you say? Do you know the laws for service animals in your rental properties? HUD doesn’t take service animals lightly.

When is an animal legally not a pet? When an animal is legally registered as a service animal, it is no longer considered a pet. Service animals cannot 

True or false? A tenant may only make a request for a service animal at the time of application.
False! Per HUD, a tenant may make a request for a service animal at your property at an time - the day they move in, a week after moving in, or even a year after moving in. You are legally required to allow the service animal.

True or false? You may deny a service animal if the breed is on a restricted list.
False! Per HUD, Breed restrictions are not legal means for denial as it pertains to service animals. 

Service animal requests should be treated as reasonable accommodation requests. The three criteria that must be met for a tenant to have a service animal on your rental property:

  1. There must be a disability.
  2. The accommodation or modification must be necessary to fully enjoy the property.
  3. The request must be reasonable.

While there is some grey area here, HUD has guidelines available to research if you're interested in learning more.

Can you charge an additional deposit on a service animal? The answer is no. Service animals legally are not pets; therefore, landlords may not charge an additional fee or deposit to a tenant with a service animal.

Be extremely cautious when it comes to service animals in your rental property and understand the laws in place to protect tenants with service animals. If you have questions, give us a call. 303-255-1990

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