It's astounding that 32% of pet owners register their pets as emotional support animals.
Some rental property owners don't want to deal with the hassle of welcoming pets. This doesn't mean that they can exclude emotional support animals, though.
What should rental property owners know about support animals? Read on for three facts that will impact your rental property business.
1. Legal Protections for Emotional Support Animals
In Seattle, property managers have to follow federal and local laws about support animals. The Fair Housing Act (FHA) makes it illegal to deny housing based on disability, and this includes the presence of emotional support animals. This means that property managers in Seattle can't deny housing to someone with a valid need for an emotional support animal.
To qualify for protection under the FHA, renters must have a disability. Their emotional support animal must also provide therapeutic benefits related to that disability.
Property managers in Seattle should be aware that they can't charge extra pet fees or deposits for support animals. The reason why is that they aren't considered pets under the law.
2. Reasonable Accommodations for Support Animals and Communication
Seattle property managers also have to provide people with disabilities reasonable accommodations. This includes those with emotional support animals.
Are you renting in Seattle and need such accommodations? It's important to communicate with your property manager.
What should renters do when seeking accommodation for their emotional support animals? They need to be prepared to provide documentation from a licensed healthcare professional. This should verify your disability and the need for a support animal.
This document should include the following:
- Your name
- Your specific disability
- Information about the specific benefits the animal provides for your disability
Clear communication with property managers in Seattle is vital. It can help ensure a smooth process for requesting and receiving reasonable accommodations.
3. Verification Process and Responsibilities
Seattle property managers have the right to verify the authenticity of your need for an emotional support animal. It's crucial to know that they can't ask for specific details about your disability. They can request reliable documentation from a healthcare professional, though.
This documentation should be recent. It has to explain the connection between the disability and the therapeutic benefits of the support animal. This will take place before moving forward with support animals in Seattle rentals.
Property managers in Seattle also have to balance the needs of the tenant and the rights of other residents. It's possible that the presence of the support animal could harm others.
What if the animal could threaten the wellness of other renters or the property? Property managers may have grounds to deny the accommodation request.
Property Managers in Seattle Need to Know These Things
Navigating the world of support animals in Seattle rentals can be tricky. Property managers have to be aware of the legal issues to avoid trouble. With this support animal guide, renters and owners can create a harmonious living environment.
Do you need help running your rental property in the Greater Seattle area? Contact Brink Property Management to hear how our team can help. We've been helping clients for over 27 years.