Assistance Animals, also known as Service Animals are protected under the American Disabilities Act. These animals provide a much needed service to the disabled party to make their life easier. Another type of support animal is an Emotional Support Animal. These animals do not necessarily assist with the owner with a task. They help individuals that may suffer emotionally for a variety of reasons cope with the daily stress or emotional support they need. Emotional Support Animals are not covered be the American Disabilities Act. They are governed primarily by Fair Housing Laws. Unlike Assistant Animals where it may be obvious the disabled party requires an assistant animal, emotional support requirements are mostly invisible. Proper documentation is necessary to prove the necessity of the Emotional Support Animal.
Do not charge any screening fee, pet fee, or pet security deposit when verifying documentation or leasing the unit. You may enforce rules that you would any other pet or animal. However, as an example, a reasonable accommodation could be a no leach requirement if the Assistance Animal fetches items for the disabled party.
Get familiar with the laws associated with both Assistance and Emotional Support animals. They are very different.
At Blue Roof Property Management we screen all animals including family pets, assistance animals, and emotional support animals for a variety of items depending on being a protected class or not.