A lot of property owners are apprehensive about allowing pets into their rental property. They worry about the potential damage that pets can do, and as a landlord, you’re permitted to have a no pet policy. However, you need to understand that service animals are different. Make sure you understand how the fair housing guidelines apply to service animals.
California Service Dog Laws
Service animals are exempt from any pet policies. They must be accommodated under California law and federal housing guidelines for individuals with disabilities. You cannot charge a pet deposit for a service animal, and you cannot restrict the breed, size, or type of animal. When a tenant has a disability and needs a service animal, you cannot deny them that accommodation.
Fair Housing Act Service Animal: Setting Standards
The good news is that service animals are still expected to meet your behavior standards. The owners have to pick up after their animals, and those animals cannot be a nuisance to the quiet enjoyment of their neighbors. Make sure you include these details in your lease agreement so tenants are aware of their responsibilities and your expectations.
Navigating the legal requirements of service animals, support animals, and other fair housing accommodations can be tricky. Having a professional property manager assist you in understanding them can be helpful when you’re not sure what to do.
If you have any questions about service animals, or you’re not sure about the rules that separate pets from service animals, please don’t hesitate to contact us at California Pacific Realty. We’d be happy to tell you more.