What Are the Laws for Renting to a Person With a Service Dog in the U.S.?


Quick Answer

Under the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, by law, landlords and property managers must make reasonable accommodations for a person who is physically impaired and possesses a trained service dog, according to the National Service Animal Registry. A pet deposit is waived for tenants with a service dog.

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Full Answer

By law, individuals with service dogs that perform major life tasks are exempt from tenant policies limiting the type of species, breed and weight requirements imposed by landlords and property managers, according to the National Service Animal Registry. As of 2015, though, the law stipulates that exemptions apply within hotels and motels, private clubs, buildings with four or fewer units where the landlord occupies a unit, and single-family homes for rent by the owner without a real estate broker.

The law also stipulates that property managers can request verification for the need of a service dog from a physician or mental health professional, according to the National Service Animal Registry. Landlords who do not comply or make accommodations for the service dog may be cited for discrimination against a disabled person and sued or fined.

Tenants with a service dog are liable for any damages to the property caused by the service animal, and they can be evicted if the property is not managed or the service animal displays aggressive or destructive behavior and disturbances, according to the National Service Animal Registry.

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