In the US, can a landlord who refuses pets refuse to rent to me because I have a service dog?
Generally not, assuming you have a trained service dog and a genuine disability. There are exceptions for landlords renting owner-occupied housing with 4 or less units or a single family home rented without the use of a broker.
Looks like service animals may fall under the reasonable accommodation provisions of the Fair Housing Act:
Depends on where you’re at. Some dialogue.
Usually no, but there are a few exceptions, provide it’s a trained service dog recognized under the law. Seeing eye dogs, for example, are a pretty clear case. Not all other categories of service animal are recognized under all jurisdictions.
It depends, at least where I live. My father is allowed to refuse people with large dogs because of insurance purposes. Since it is a service dog, though, I’m not sure what insurance would think of it.
Absolutely not. As long as your dog is trained to do tasks to accommodate a disability, you can’t be refused housing or anything else. There may be exceptions for a small place when the landlord lives there.
Suggest the landlord reads the ADA. If that doesn’t work, check with the local fair housing. Also, if your dog was trained by a school, quite often they will assist you. some lawyers would be happy to share your settlement.
We enjoy having our friends retired dog guide. She had the right to keep him in her pet free apartment complex as long as he was working. When he was no longer able to work, she had to find a new home. The ADA gives no rights to animals. The impaired person has the right to accommodations of their choice.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (1990) had several significant changes in the last week, including changes as to defining a service dog.
Your best bet is to contact the DOJ directly.
At the same time, HUD manages the Fair Housing Act. This part is important to you. Note the specific example at the bottom of the quote article:
Ah, a few other posts while I was composing mine.
The ADA is nation wide and applies to most disabilities. It does limit things to dogs.
IANAL, but Title 24 of the Americans With Disabilities Act states that no, a landlord may not refuse to rent to a tenant with a service animal. It requires property owners to make reasonable accommodations to make their properties accessible to persons with disabilities, and makes the specific example that a blind person with a seeing eye dog would not have an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling without the aid of his animal.
Edit: I was ninja’d by several other posters, but yes, it’s the law. Landlords must make reasonable accommodations to permit disabled tenants with service animals to live on the premises.
It could also depend on the type of housing. In these parts, a landlord can refuse to rent to anyone for any or no reason if it’s a two-family house and they live in the other unit. And landlords can always come up with another reason to not rent to you
We rented out our condo since we couldn’t sell it when we moved. If our friend who is staying there wants to move out when her contract is up, we plan on asking around to look for a renter before putting an ad in the paper.
If someone who has a service animal is interested but we just don’t get back to them and someone else rents it, I think they would have a hard time proving it was because they have the animal. We could say the other (non-dog) person offered more, was a closer friend, had a better renting background, or that we just lost the first person’s phone number.
On a tangent; if our insurance company wanted us to pay more because of the dog, could we have the renter cover the additional cost?
I find it interesting that in **Duckster’s **post it has “chronic alcoholism” listed as a disability. Huh.
I would be surprised if the insurance company could insist on a higher premium due to a service dog.
In other words, basing a premium upon one’s disability status? Seems to me that’s walking on eggshells.
What if another tenant’s disability is a strong allergy to dogs? Does ADA have any concept of “dueling” disabilities?
If the allergy isn’t part of a protected class definition, the dog “wins.”
The ADA requires a “reasonable” accommodation. What is or is not reasonable depends on the judge.
I worked in a very upscale hotel that wasn’t very friendly to disabled people. Quite a few would complain some even filed complaints. The thing was the hotel was a historical landmark and as such, none of the architecture could be altered.
We never got into trouble because it wasn’t considered “resonable” to tear down or otherwise alter a historical landmark to accommadte a disabled person.
Of course we’d TRY to accommodate them if they instisted. In one case it lead to the guest having to take the freight elevator and that could only be accessed through a controlled employee entry point. He only stayed one day with us as he got fed up with waiting.
So as long as the refusal is reasonable it’s OK. Another example is a service animal must be well behaved. If you have a guide dog and it’s continually barking in a resturant and won’t be quiet, it’s reasonable to ask the person to stop the dog’s barking or leave.
I would think if a tenant had a severe allergy, it’s reasonable to refuse renting the flat. It would cause a hardship for the landlord to lose money by forcing the allergic person out.
A similar thing is if you are working and let’s say you’re allergic to toner in a laster jet printer. If it’s reasonable to move the person away from the printer so it doesn’t effect them you have to do it.
While the ADA gives rights to disbled person it makes clear you don’t have to go broke in order to provide service. You just have to prove you tried or it would be “reasonable” to refuse.
What is reasonable again, is up to a judge.
Be careful with that depending on what state you live in. We were advised by a mentoring group for investors to set the standards that tenants have to meet and rent to the first one who meets them. It could save a law suite for discrimination that you could loose.
Fairly often here I see this brought up and, sorry, but it rankles me because the “always come up with another reason” does not wash. First off, the landlord has to know of the “other reason.” Then the landlord has to be prepared to prove that it’s actually the “other reason” that is behind not renting. If it’s pulled out of the landlord’s derriere, it’s not going to fly in court.
Could a landlord discriminate on what type of service dog?
Could a landlord say no to a purse dog for anxiety issues vs a seeing-eye German Shepherd for a blind person?