Your pet policy will depend on whether or not you want to allow pets into your rental home. If you aren’t using professional property management in Denver, CO, make sure you understand the difference between pets and service animals. While you can restrict or prohibit pets in your property, service animals are much different and protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Fair Housing Act.
Providing Reasonable Accommodation
Tenants with disabilities cannot be prohibited from having service animals because those animals are necessary for the full use and enjoyment of their home. You need to make what is considered a reasonable accommodation, and allow them to live with their service animal. The ADA and the Fair Housing Act mandate that you don’t restrict the use of a service animal.
Differentiating Pets and Service Animals
It’s understandable why many landlords refuse to allow pets into their rental homes. Animals can be noisy, territorial, and messy. The risk of damage to your property increases when a tenant has pets in the house. Cleaning up after a tenant with a pet has moved out can also be a hassle. However, people with disabilities need service animals and you need to treat them differently than pets. A disability can be a physical, mental, or emotional condition. Service animals can be any dog, cat, bird, or other animal. They can be any breed, size, and age.
What Landlords Need to Know
There are some specific guidelines you must follow when it comes to service animals. First, they are not pets. You are not permitted to ask for a pet deposit from a tenant who has a service animal. You cannot restrict the type of service animal that is allowed in the home. It can be any size, age, breed, and weight. You cannot refuse to rent your property to a person with a disability who needs a service animal.
Put together a pet policy that outlines your requirements and expectations for tenants who are moving in with pets. If you don’t want to permit pets in your property, make sure your lease agreement explicitly states that, and prospective tenants understand that pets are not a possibility. Finally, make sure you know the difference between a pet and a service animal, and follow the laws accordingly.
For help with pets and service animals, please contact Alborz Real Estate.