If a disabled tenant and needs a service or support animal to fully enjoy the community, the tenant has the right to request permission to have one.
Contact the rental housing provider and submit a written request for the animal and explain why the animal is needed as a result of a disability.
In most cases, a rental housing provider may ask that a tenant provide documentation from a doctor or other medical provider attesting to (1) the existence of a disability and (2) explaining the nexus between the disability and the needs that are satisfied by the animal.
A rental housing provider has the right to make sure that the animal is properly licensed, vaccinated, does not have a history of aggressive or dangerous behaviors, and that otherwise will follow the rules of the community.
Once approved, the rental housing provider is allowed to ask the tenant to sign and abide by a service/support animal addendum, requiring the tenant to maintain control over the animal, pick up after the animal, comply with leash laws, and more. The tenant may also have to consent to DNA testing for the animal.
Once approved, a rental housing provider is not entitled to require an additional deposit for the service/support animal or charge pet rent.
If there is a violation the terms of the lease or service animal addendum, the tenant may be required to remove the animal.
Learn more by visiting the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s disability resources here.