Service/Comfort/Companion Animals

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B.C. woman fights strata to keep children’s therapy dogs

A B.C. woman claims her daughters faced discrimination when the company that manages their strata unit fined them for keeping two therapy dogs.  According to a summary recently posted on the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal website, the woman’s two daughters

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Doing a disservice: The harm in service dog fraud

You may have noticed the signs outside of businesses becoming more prominent lately. They all carry a similar message: Only legitimate service dogs allowed. And, in some jurisdictions, they are now adding a reminder that service dog fraud is a

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Emotional Support Animal scams – good news from the Eastern District of Texas

The October 17, 2017 decision by Judge Amos Mazzant of the Eastern District of Texas in Houston v. DTN Operating Company et al., 2017 WL 4653246 (E.D.Tex 2017) is good news for landlords confronted by bogus internet diagnoses of disability.

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Connecticut Laws on Service Dogs and Emotional Support Animals

Under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Connecticut’s public accommodations law, people with disabilities have the right to be accompanied by their service animals in restaurants, hotels, stores, theaters, and other places that are open to the public.

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Trial set for Aspen service-dog flap (CO)

A trial date in Denver federal court over a service-dog dispute at an Aspen condominium complex is set for early next year.  Documents filed Sept. 13 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado show that a six-day

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Condo complex penalized over ‘no pets’ policy (NY)

The NYC Commission on Human Rights recently won its case in defense of a resident of Parkchester South Condominiums who was threatened with eviction over her service dog.  Michelle Berrios, a nurse practitioner who has lived in her condo for

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‘Emotional support’ or a ‘no-pet’ loophole?

Q: We have a no-pet rule in our condominium association. Recently, one of the owners presented the condo board with a letter from her doctor stating that she needed a dog for emotional support. The board voted to allow her

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Emotional Support Animals can create mess for condo boards

More and more condominium associations are facing the issue of what to do when an association has a  “No Pets” policy and someone claims a need for an Emotional Support Animal, aka an ESA.    Read the article……….

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Real Estate Your condo association prohibits pets, but you need a ‘comfort’ animal. What do you do?

Your condominium rules prohibit pets of any kind except fish and birds. A unit owner asks the board of directors to allow them to keep a dog because they need the comfort the animal gives them. What should the board

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Accommodating Service Dogs in Condominiums (ON)

In a recent case before the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal (Latendresse v. CCC No. 8), a condominium resident alleged that the condominium corporation had discriminated against him with respect to occupancy of accommodations because of a disability.  The corporation’s rules

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Controversy Dogs Lynn Condo Association (MA)

Milo will be fighting for his home against the OceanView Condos’ board of trustees on Wednesday.  The nine-pound shih-poo was purchased in 2014 as an emotional support dog by Cheryl Hardnett, who rents the two-bedroom apartment from Pam Boucher at

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Obtaining Prescriptions for ‘Therapy Pets’ Is Easy; Rejecting Accommodations Based on Them Is Not

We face many challenges in life. Obtaining a doctor’s note certifying the need for an emotional support animal isn’t one of them. And for condo association board members and managers, this is a source of considerable and increasing frustration.  

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Many association pet bans are all bark and no bite

Many condominium associations have found their pet bans have no teeth.  That’s because an increasing number of residents are requesting permission to keep assistance animals due to physical or mental disability. Associations have little choice but to grant the exceptions.

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MU study shows emotional support animal certification may need to change (MO)

A study conducted by the MU psychology department shows that the certification process for emotional support animals is flawed.  The study, conducted by Cassie Boness, a graduate student studying clinical psychology, and Jeffrey N. Younggren, a forensic psychologist and clinical

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Pets Allowed: My Unusual Emotional Support Animal

Marc Philippe Eskenazi tests out which New York City establishments with previously strict human-only policies will allow in his menagerie of emotional-support animals.    Watch the video…………..

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Service Animals And Your Condominium Or Community Association

As a professional community manager for the past two decades, I have seen a rapid growth in the number of service animals within condominium and community associations.  Currently, about 79.7 million households – or 65 percent of all households in

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Online Harassment and Risk of Liability Under Fair Housing Laws

My colleagues and I have blogged about the importance of recognizing requests for reasonable accommodations/modifications, carefully and thoughtfully considering them, and properly responding in a timely manner. We like to think our posts on this topic have helped a few

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How Should the Association Handle Emotional Support Animals in Individual Units

The law that applies to accommodations for an emotional support animal is primarily the Fair Housing Act (“FHA”). Please note that the American with Disabilities Act pertains to the state and federal government being prohibited from discriminating against people with

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Fair Housing Act – Emotional Support Animals

A very instructive case was decided last month in a Federal Appeals Court which will demonstrate almost everything not to do with respect to compliance with the Fair Housing Act relative to emotional support animals. This case dealt with a

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Service Animals & Your HOA

No matter what your community’s pet policy is, service animals are almost always allowed. Unlike pets, service animals are not subject to the same rules, so here are some general things to consider when dealing with service animals.    Read

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HOAs and pitbulls as therapy dogs

QUESTION: I live in an HOA, and our board has not been enforcing the provision of our declaration that prohibits pit bulls. On one occasion the board allowed a pit bull because the owner produced an “emotional support animal” certificate.

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Third Circuit: neighbors who criticized condo residents over emotional support dogs must face civil rights suit

In blog posts and comments, two residents of a Virgin Islands condominium complex criticized two other residents who were (in line with rights prescribed to them under federal law) keeping emotional-support dogs despite a no-dog rule in the complex. Among

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Accommodating disabilities: What medical evidence is required?

It is well known that condominiums owe a duty to accommodate persons with disabilities. It is less clear, however, what constitutes adequate proof of a disability. Ambiguous medical notes containing no meaningful details are often the only documentation given to

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Emotional Support Animals in Cooperative Apartment and Condo Communities: What Every Association and Owner Should Know

An emotional support animal (commonly referred to as an “ESA”) is a companion animal (typically a dog or cat) that provides therapeutic benefit to an individual with a mental or psychiatric disability. An ESA is not the same thing as

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Can Blogging Violate the Fair Housing Act?–Revock v. Cowpet Bay West Condo Ass’n

This case is a collision between dogs as emotional support animals and a “no dogs” condominium association rule. The civil rights implications of a “no pets” rule are pretty obvious; such a rule can exclude the disabled. At the same

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Defendants lose fight to dismiss Aspen service dog suit (CO)

The defendants in a lawsuit that accuses them of violating federal laws regarding service animals and housing have lost their bid to have the complaint dismissed.  Senior Judge Wiley Y. Daniel’s order issued Wednesday determined allegations against Jack Smith and

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Emotional Support Chickens Are Ruffling Feathers (HI)

A rise in questionable emotional support animals is concerning to condo associations and businesses that must accommodate them.   And the animal owners are offering proof with bogus papers easily obtained online to push back against anyone who challenges them.

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Info on neighbor’s emotional support dog confidential (FL)

Question: We live in a pet-free community. I saw a lady walking a cocker spaniel yesterday on our grounds. I asked our property manager about the pet and was informed this was a new resident that had papers indicating it

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Assistance animals and fair housing: Legislation seeks clarity (VA)

Assistance animals in rental properties and condo units frequently arise as the topic of conversation within common interest communities. In condo associations, the declarations will often contain restrictions on the kinds of animals that unit owners and/or tenants may have

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Attention Boards: your two favorite menaces have combined: Airbnb and Pets!

Whether I am giving a presentation to hundreds of people, teaching a class to dozens of managers or meeting privately with a board of directors, the two issues that have come up without fail over the last few months are:

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A No-Pet Policy Is Not Enough

There is no shortage of scams people use to get a bogus “support pet” into a no-pet building, and there are ways to keep them out. But every co-op and condo board needs to treat every “reasonable accommodation” request seriously.

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Clearing the Air On Companion Animals: What Property Managers Should Know

Know the rules when residents seek accommodation for emotional support or companion animals

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Where Do Condo, Homeowner Associations Stand on Emotional Support Animals?

Picture, if you will, a young man named John. He lives in your association-controlled community. John bravely served in the U.S. Army and received the Distinguished Service Cross for his extraordinary heroism in active duty. Upon John’s return home, he

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Attorney advises communities on support animals (FL)

Attorney Joshua Gerstin recently provided Alliance of Delray Residential Associations members with advice on medically necessary pets, making decisions through emails and governing documents, topics that community board of directors will face this year.  “A growing number of advocates feel

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Service animals: Can you ask someone to prove need? (FL)

Realtors representing housing providers, such as a condo association, homeowners association or owner, occasionally find themselves in a delicate situation when a customer or client appears to overstep regarding requests for additional information about a service or assistance animal. Occasionally,

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Aspen service-dog suit settles (CO)

An Aspen woman’s discrimination lawsuit against a condominium association and a property-management firm over her use of a service dog is on the verge of being settled.  Court papers introduced earlier this month indicate plaintiff Natasha MacArthur has reached an

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Airplane Passengers Fall in Love With Emotional Support Duck Accompanying Owner With PTSD

Meet Daniel Turducken Stinkerbutt, aka Daniel the Duck.   He’s an emotional support animal for 37-year-old Carla Fitzgerald, who has been battling post-traumatic stress disorder ever since a bad accident in 2013.  Daniel rose to fame this weekend when he accompanied

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No Pets Allowed? Condo Living With a Dog Can Be Tricky (HI)

Some people are getting their dog–or miniature horse–certified as a service animal to make their condo hunt a little easier

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What You Need to Know About Service Animals in Your Community

if a service animal is needed and used as outlined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the community cannot prohibit it

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Judge: Aspen service-dog dispute likely headed for trial (CO)

The joint owner of an Aspen condo and a homeowners’ association remain in a legal standoff more than a year after a federal lawsuit was filed over a service-dog dispute

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Associations Should Utilize Proper Vetting Protocols When Considering Service and Emotional Support Animal Requests

Most government investigations begin with a complaint from a resident indicating that their request for assistance animals had been denied or that they had refrained from requesting an assistance animal for fear of being evicted.

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HUD Reaches Agreement With Florida Condo Association in Disability Discrimination Case

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today an agreement with Delvista Towers Condominium Association, Inc., of Aventura, Florida, and its property management company, resolving allegations of housing discrimination against residents with disabilities. HUD claimed the condo

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Companion Pets and Service Animals: How Do You Determine a Reasonable Accommodation?

Probably the biggest point of tension for any condo, HOA or co-op board is a pet ban

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Home Owners Associations: Beware of the Fair Housing Act When Enforcing Pet Prohibitions and Restrictions

Associations have restrictions that either prohibit or limit the number, size, and type of pets that can be kept within the community

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Who Let the Dogs Out?

Many condominium and community associations are receiving increasingly frequent requests from residents to keep dogs and other “assistance animals” in communities that do not allow pets

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A large ‘companion’ dog in the middle of the fight between a tenant and a condo board

The rules of the condo prohibit a pet weighting more than 22 pounds. Fernando de Diego argues his dog isn’t a pet; it’s a companion to help him deal with his illness.

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Judicial Follies: Companion fish

Some years ago, the California Supreme Court decided a case involving a woman who was forced to give up her two house cats to comply with rules adopted by her condominium association that prohibited pet ownership. Not all pet ownership,

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Claiming a pet is a service animal is risky

Service animals may travel anywhere their handler goes in public, according to the Americans with Disabilities Act. The same protection is not afforded for therapy dogs and emotional support animals (companion pets), whose certifications are not legally required.

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HUD’S Fair Housing Decision Upheld by First Circuit Court of Appeals

The decision upheld a Final Order that a condominium association discriminated against a resident with disabilities by refusing to allow him to keep an emotional support animal

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