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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 116715
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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I am a licensed real estate broker working with a buyer

Customer Question

I am a licensed real estate broker working with a buyer who's under contract to purchase a condo with pet restrictions. She has two service cats that help her depression. the condo association has requested her health care provider fill out this two page document that ask some questions that the psychologist says he will not answer as they violate patient/therapist privilege and suggested she contact Fair Housing department as they believe the hOA is breaking the law in requesting such information.
JA: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state the association is in?
Customer: Florida
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: No this happened yesterday
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Just if this is legal for them to request since she already has a service pet certification # for her pets
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Legal
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I added the forms
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 9 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Actually, a condo or HOA can request proof that the occupant requires service animals. The reason for this is the rampant fraud of people claiming they have service animal needs to circumvent association rules. If a person is asking for an accommodation for a service animal contrary to association rules, the association is entitled to documentation that such a support animal is required, but they cannot ask detailed information about the person's disability and can merely require validation from the tenant's personal physician who is stating such an animal is necessary.
The questions posed require only general information validating the legitimate need for the animal, but they also ask for general descriptions of the condition for which can be deemed overly invasive questions in violation of the FHA as well. The problem is there are no black and white guidelines, so the doctor can fill it out very generically or your client can file a complaint with the FHA regarding the overly invasive nature of the questions (like I said they are entitled to some proof, but only the minimum necessary to establish the request is legitimate).
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