For some people with disabilities, having an assistance dog is vital in order to live a comfortable life. Usually, they are well trained because every day the animals have to complete a number of difficult tasks for their owners. For this reason, service dogs are well behaved and should not pose any problems for landlords. However, sometimes homeowners use their right to enforce certain regulations in the lease or rental agreement that is provided to them by law. In this particular case, the tenant is refused to have a service dog, which creates a number of concerns because it is necessary for his life.
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Nevertheless, despite the fact that a landlord may be worried about the potential damage that can be caused by a dog, this behavior is discriminatory. Service dogs are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act, and, therefore, landlords cannot refuse access to it for their tenants. This violates their rights to treatment as such dogs are not considered pets; instead, they are treated as essential medical tools (“Can Landlords Deny a Service Dog?”). In addition, renters with disabilities require reasonable accommodations provided by landlords, which is stated in the Federal Fair Housing Act (Dillman para. 3). For this reason, a tenant, in this case, should remind his landlord about his rights of a person who needs assistance.
In the worst-case scenario, where a landlord would still refuse, it would be possible to sue him. The reason would be discrimination after denying the “tenant’s reasonable request for accommodation for an emotional support animal and threatening to evict” (Hernandez-Silk 313). There is no doubt that as an owner, he will be eligible for any damage a dog would cause. However, there is no guarantee that a dog will ever do such damage because they are trained.
Hernandez-Silk, Chelsea. “They Say Emotional Support Dog, We Say Service Dog: Why the Aamericans with Disabilities Act Should Recognize Emotional Support dogs as Service Animals.” Richmond Journal of Law and the Public Interest, vol. 21, 2017, p. 313. Web.
Dillman, Beth. “Renting a Place to Live With a Service or Support Dog”. Nolo, n.d., Web.
“Can Landlords Deny a Service Dog?” Service Dog Certifications, n.d., Web.