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N Cal Attorney
N Cal Attorney, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 8086
Experience:  since 1983
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I have a service dog for my mental disability and he is trained

Customer Question

I have a service dog for my mental disability and he is trained to bark as his "job". When I moved into my new apartment building, I provided them with a signed prescription from my treating physician as well as his training paperwork/certificate. I have been living here for exactly one year and have never had any noise complaints or disturbances presented to me by the resident services department. I have however been continuously harassed by a security guard revealing my private information and discussing me personally to many neighbors and strangers. Today I received a letter from a legal company that claims to administer the Resident Services and Claims Management Department for my building. They are seeking and "effort for informal resolution". They state that my "companion animal" (which he is not) routinely barks at all hours of the day and causes other disturbances. I have a signed affidavit from my surrounding neighbors that they have not heard him ever and have no complaints in regards XXXXX XXXXX which I'd like to submit to this legal department. I also work from home so I am home constantly, my service dog sleeps when I sleep and wakes up when I wake up, when he is awake and with me he is "working" and will bark if necessary. What is the right way to respond to this letter so as to preserve my lease? What rights do I have as covered under the ADA of 1990? Can they even send me this type of letter?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  N Cal Attorney replied 1 year ago.
I am sorry to hear this.

http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/landlordbook/discrimination.shtml
states:
"Unlawful housing discrimination can take a variety of forms. Under California's Fair Employment and Housing Act and Unruh Civil Rights Act, it is unlawful for a landlord, managing agent, real estate broker, or salesperson to discriminate against any person because of the person's race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth or medical conditions related to them, as well as gender and perception of gender), sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, ancestry, familial status, source of income, disability, medical condition, or age in any of the following ways:
///
Refusing to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, or services when necessary to allow a person with a disability "equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling" (for example, refusing to allow a person with a disability's companion or service dog)."

So as noted above, the dog is protected under the FEHA as well as the ADA, see
http://www.ada.gov/service_animals_2010.htm

You can send that information to the landlord's agent, but it would have more impact if you get a local attorney to reply to the letter.

You can get a free consultation from some of the discrimination lawyers listed by location at
http://lawyers.findlaw.com/lawyer/practicestate/Discrimination/California

I hope this information is helpful.
N Cal Attorney, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 8086
Experience: since 1983
N Cal Attorney and 11 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

So would their legal department not know this already? Or are they just trying to threaten me?

Expert:  N Cal Attorney replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the Excellent rating!

Their legal department should know this and should not allow this kind of harassment after you already provided them with a signed prescription.

I urge you to consult a local attorney prior to replying to the letter.

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