INSIDER's Pop Quiz!
Q: Our community allows pets, as long as they’re 25 pounds or less. A resident requests a reasonable accommodation to keep his large dog as an assistance animal and submits documentation to show that he has a disability and that the dog provides emotional support to alleviate the symptoms of his disability. Although his dog is larger than allowed under our pet policy, could we face a discrimination claim if we deny his request to keep it?
A: Yes. Even though your policy limits pets to 25 pounds or less, you must consider making an exception to the policy to allow the resident to keep his larger dog as an assistance animal. HUD says that weight limits in pet policies don’t apply to assistance animals. Since he has provided documentation to show that he has a disability and a disability-related need to keep the dog, you could face a fair housing complaint for denying his reasonable accommodation request.
For more guidance on handling requests for assistance animals, join us for a free webinar, Assistance Animals: What Housing Providers Need to Know, on Feb. 19, 2016. For more information and to register, click here.