I have a question about companion dog law. I'm a condominium owner in a 110 units building, where I'm also the treasurer of the Board. The Board is working volunterly and free of charge. Our bylaw lets owners keep small animals in their unit, but there are certain areas are prohibited for pets, including a fenced-in pool. The Association has not received federal funds, and not FHA approved. This complex is for all ages, not for elderly only.We have a new owner, who just moved in and she keeps taking her dog inside the pool area. The Board informed her about our bylaw, but now she is saying the dog is companion dog. Do we have to let her take the dog in that area where we all want to enjoy the nice, clean ( and expensively kept that way)water, and where are small children playing and swimming?
Country relating to Question: United States
State (if USA): Ohio
searched internet, called Board of Health
Hello,Thank you for using JA. It is likely that you would have to do so or could face a federal discrimination lawsuit for the refusal. The Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act protect the right of people with disabilities to keep emotional support/service animals, even when a landlord's policy explicitly prohibits pets. Because emotional support and service animals are not "pets," but rather are considered to be more like assistive aids such as wheelchairs, the law will generally require the landlord/management to make an exception to its "no pet" policy so that a tenant with a Disability can fully use and enjoy his or her dwelling.
In most housing complexes, so long as the tenant has a letter or prescription from an appropriate professional, such as a therapist or physician, and meets the definition of a person with a disability, he or she is entitled to a reasonable accommodation that would allow an emotional support/service animal in the complex.
Discrimination under the FHA includes "a refusal to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, or services, when such accommodations may be necessary to afford [a person with a disability] an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling." 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(B). So long as the requested accommodation does not constitute an undue financial or administrative burden for the landlord, or fundamentally alter the nature of the housing, the landlord/management must provide the accommodation.
Depending on how far the tenant wants to take it, if they are not permitted to take the animal to the pool, the complex could run the risk of a federal Civil Rights discrimination lawsuit. Organizations like the ACLU are always looking for a victim so they can push their agenda and get publicity.
The botXXXXX XXXXXne is that if it is not an undue burden or a fundamental alteration, the landlord/management must grant the requested accommodation.
If you need further help please do not rate 2 stars/faces "Helped a little" or 1 star/face "I expected more". This is considered a negative rating against me.
Just reply to me via the “CONTINUE CONVERSATION” or “REPLY” button with the questions you have as I receive no compensation for my efforts for the lowest two ratings.
Please keep in mind that I am trying to help you understand and resolve your situation. I don't make the laws, I am just reporting or interpreting them, so the outcome may not be what you had hoped for.
. Please be patient as I am typically working with several customers at any given time. Some answers take 5 minutes, some 35 minutes. But rest assured, I will get back to you.
Please be aware that I am not entering into an attorney client relationship, this is a public forum, and all posts are available for public viewing. There is no duty of Confidentiality that attaches to any posts. With that in mind, please do not post any specific information you do not want available for public viewing. The information provided is not a substitute for a local attorney’s legal advice.
12 yrs practice, Realtor, Landlord 23+ yrs
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).