The Fair Housing Act and accommodation requests

When people move into pet restricted communities they have to fully understand what those restrictions mean because they can vary from community to community. There are places that restrict pets completely and there are places where the restrictions have to do with size of people’s pets, how many they happen to have, and their weight. According to Property Management Aventura, these restrictions are usually aimed at dogs, although other pets may be included. Communities may also restrict where your pets can and cannot go, so people with dogs may only be able to walk them in certain areas. 

Pet Restrictions and Disabilities

With all of this in mind, it is understandable that people who live in a pet restricted community may become upset when they see one of their neighbors walking their dog where they are not supposed to or even taking them to the pool. It might seem as if the person with the dog is going against the established rules, but that might not necessarily be the case. You have to understand that both the Federal Fair Housing Act and the Florida Fair Housing Act prohibit discrimination when it comes to housing access for people with disabilities and requires that reasonable accommodations be given to those who have service animals or emotional support animals after a request has been made. This is a very important thing to be aware of because failing to comply can land homeowner’s associations, board members, property managers, or anyone else who is in charge or legally liable in a lot of trouble for a HUD complaint. 

An important note to add to that information is that a person who has a disability and a service animal whose tasks toward the sake of the person are obvious, does not have to make a request for reasonable accommodation. It is simply a given since the person’s need for the service animal is readily apparent.  A particular example is the case of a person who is blind and has a service animal that helps him or her to get around safely. There are only very specific circumstances where those in charge of the property could deny a service animal access to any part of the property, such as when that animal is a danger to others. However, you have to be careful about it and it is preferable to seek legal advice when doing so.

About emotional support animals

There are people who do not absolutely require a service animal for their everyday needs but have a pet solely for emotional support. In these cases, the most advisable thing to do, once the person has made a request for reasonable accommodation, is to consult the matter with legal counsel. It might also be necessary to ask for proper documentation from a physician or mental health worker in order to establish that the person does in fact have some sort of disability and needs the animal for emotional support. When dealing with people who have animals that provide them with some kind of assistance but those animals are not considered to be service animals, great care should be taken before placing any restrictions on them in order not to enter into any violation of either the Federal Fair Housing Act or the Florida Fair Housing Act. Every case should simply be handled as unique and every detail that pertains to it must be carefully considered. Another thing that should be avoided at all costs is to charge a deposit or any other kind of fee for service animals as this will certainly land people who do it deep trouble. If want to know more about this subject you can get information by following this link: https://www.us-florida-property-management.com/aventura/

 

 

US Florida Property Management LLC
17971 Biscayne Blvd, ste 221
Aventura, FL, 33160
786-571-2691

 

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