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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Kimberly Smith is an accomplished entrepreneur and published author with more than 20 years experience as an entrepreneur in the areas of real estate, property management, corporate housing, website development and franchising. In 1999 Kimberly and her husband/ business partner, Eric, launched AvenueWest Corporate Housing, Inc., a multi-million dollar success story. AvenueWest provides real estate property management of furnished residential properties offering full service corporate housing services to upscale executive travelers in need of a monthly lodging solution. A recognized leader in the industry, they were awarded CHPA’s 2010 Provider Company of the Year Award and listed for 3 consecutive years on Inc Magazine’s Inc 5000 list of the countries fastest growing businesses. Inspired to help people find corporate housing and real estate solutions on a national basis, Kimberly and Eric came up with a business idea to create a national resource dedicated to connecting furnished rental properties with executive renters. In 2006 (CHBO) was launched, the first-of-its-kind online portal connecting furnished rentals and the traveling public. In 2013 CHBO was recognized by CHPA as the Associate Company of the Year. In 2009 AvenueWest Global Franchise was launched allowing for the national expansion of the AvenueWest Managed Corporate Housing product. Current offices are located in Phoenix, Atlanta, Fort Collins, San Francisco, Boston, Dallas, Denver and Colorado Springs.

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