Do I have to accept a service animal if I have a no pet policy?
The Fair Housing Act defines assistance animals as animals that work, assist, or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability, including providing emotional support that alleviates or improves the symptoms or effects of a disability. “Assistance animals” is an all-encompassing term and can include service animals, emotional support animals, therapy animals, and comfort animals.
Service animals assisting any disabled individual must be allowed in any housing or residential situation. These are working animals and are not considered pets, but are an extension of the person. These animals can assist with both physical and mental disabilities. Landlords may not discriminate against individuals who use these types of animals and cannot require additional deposits. Landlords can, however, require that the property be professionally cleaned and “de-ticked.”
Pinyo is a full-service Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty and an insurance agent with McEvoy Insurance & Financial Services. He specializes in representing clients in the purchase and sale of residential and investment properties throughout Virginia and Maryland areas around DC.