Mail Bag: Oops I broke the LAW! – The Americans With Disabilities Act

” I had a rental inquiry that asked if service dogs were ok….I said, very sorry – no dogs allowed. They responded with a letter from an attorney telling me that it is a Fair Housing Act statute and against federal law to discriminate against/not allow people with service dogs t orent your apartment. I am pretty sure  they are legally correct  – but I am looking into it for future reference.” – CHBO Property Owner.

Yes there is a lot to know – Before you accidentally break the law take a look at some of the following resources:

Discrimination Laws: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988; The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990; The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008; Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act; Fair Credit Reporting Act; Lead-Based Paint Act and Megan’s Law.

In the United States, all states have laws about Assistance Dogs, and individual states differ in their approach to defining the rights of disabled persons who use Assistance Dogs. However, most of them include specific sections in their statutes or codes that define just where disabled persons with trained dogs are allowed to go, important considerations in housing, what happens if someone tries to interfere with these rights, and what penalties are associated with anyone who denies these rights. Usually the rights of Assistance Dog trainers parallel those of disabled persons and are included in the laws of the state, but not always. Other considerations that are treated by many states include the exemption from fees or licenses; what, if any, identification is needed for the dog or the owner/trainer; responsibilities of the owner/trainer; responsibilities associated with the injury or killing of an Assistance Dog; and what happens if someone misrepresents himself as a qualified person.

Do you have any helpful hints or suggestions?

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