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I have a landlord with a no pet policy but we have an

Hi, i have a...

Hi, i have a landlord with a no pet policy but we have an emotional support animal, does the landlord have to waive his no pet clause to allow for the ESA pet?

Lawyer's Assistant: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?

MD

Lawyer's Assistant: What are the terms of the lease? Any issues related to maintenance or upkeep?

The lease has a no pet clause, nothing beyond that. Maintenance and upkeep is boiler-plate, tenet is responsible for the day to day, landlord takes care of larger systems (fridge, oven, toilets, etc.)

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

If it matters, the building has 15 units and this is the only unit the landlord owns (besides his own home).

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Answered in 11 minutes by:
10/19/2017
socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 40,169
Experience: Attorney and Real Estate broker -- Retired
Verified

Hello,

You need a physician's letter stating that you have a disability requiring reasonable accommodation using an ESA. If you provide that to the landlord and the landlord attempts to evict you based upon a breach of lease, then you have an affirmative defense, pursuant to Title 24 C.F.R. § 100.204.

Alternatively, if the landlord refuses to provide a reasonable accommodation for the pet, then you can file a complaint with U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

I hope I've answered your question. Please let me know if you require further clarification. And, please provide a positive feedback rating for my answer (click 3, 4 or 5 stars) -- otherwise, Justanswer retains your entire payment, and I receive nothing for my efforts in your behalf. Note: If you cannot find the rating button on your webpage, please just type in your rating in a response to this note, and customer service will apply the rating for you.

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socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 40,169
Experience: Attorney and Real Estate broker -- Retired
Verified
socrateaser and 87 other Real Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
Hi, did you review the documents i attached? Just curious if they have any impact from what is above.Also, if i am interpreting this correctly, I can state my intent to move an ESA dog in and i do not have to amend the lease? Effectively, i can send the physicians letter and if the landlord tries to evict me, i take this to court?

The lease expressly states no pets without landlord's "express written consent." By this, it would appear that the landlord may be inclined under some circumstances to consent to a lease amendment. You have proof of a disability that is likely to persist for a long period of time, and you need a reasonable accommodation from the landlord. The landlord may reasonably demand an increased security deposit to cover potential pet damage. But, the landlord cannot refuse to permit the pet, based on your evidence of disability.

And, yes, you would need to show your letter to a court as part of an eviction. You might actually have to have the psychologist testify to your condition.

I hope you recover. Thanks again for using Justanswer!

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
Last question, would the landlord in any way qualify for a Fair Housing Act exception? It is not a single family dwelling and it is not an owner=occupied unit with four or less units.

I don't see any exemption from coverage under the Act, based upon what you're alleging. Thanks for using Justanswer!

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Here's the section of the FHA that exempts certain dwellings from coverage. 42 U.S.C. 3603. Thanks for using Justanswer!

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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).

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