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Reasonable Accommodations for Assistance Animals

Frequently Asked Questions Back to the Realtor® Resource Library

Reasonable Accommodations for Assistance Animals Flowchart

In 2020, almost 73% of all fair housing discrimination complaints involved rental transactions, and just under 55% of all discrimination complaints involved alleged discrimination based on disability – many of which were based on issues around assistance animals.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development has issued comprehensive guidance to help landlords understand and comply with their obligations under the Fair Housing Act. PAR developed a flowchart and frequently asked questions to help Realtors® provide guidance to landlord clients in how they can best comply with the law.

This information is general guidance only and is not legal advice to either the property manager or landlord. Any questions about compliance in a specific transaction should be directed to local counsel for the landlord.

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Assistance Animal Frequently Asked Questions

What is an assistance animal?
What happens if I refuse to allow a tenant to keep an assistance animal?
Can I treat assistance animals as pets?
Can I charge an additional security/damage/pet deposit for a tenant with an assistance animal?
Can I charge higher rent for a tenant with an assistance animal?
Can a landlord have a "no pets" policy?
Can a landlord ask about assistance animals on a rental application?
Does a prospective tenant need to disclose on their application that they may have a need for an assistance animal?
Can a tenant ask to keep an assistance animal after they've already signed the lease?
Can a landlord ask the tenant for documentation of their disability and their need for an assistance animal?
What if the tenant refuses to provide documentation?
Is a landlord allowed to challenge the documentation provided by a tenant? What if the tenant lies?
Are there any other laws that apply to assistance animals?
Are assistance animals treated differently under different laws?
Are there exceptions where the laws don't apply?