In a new article published on the Student Housing Business website, PetScreening.com Founder John Ray Bradford discusses Service Animals vs. Assistance Animals and covers when and where the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Fair Housing Act (FHAct) are applicable.
Here's an excerpt:
Many animal owners believe their rights for a housing accommodation are covered under the ADA’s service animal distinction, which is inaccurate, and are usually unaware of the FHAct’s guidelines and the permissible review process for housing providers. It is not uncommon that these animal owners might even threaten legal action and become combative which often intimidates on-site agents and housing providers to accept the animal without a proper and thorough review just to avoid the threat of a legal issue or HUD claim.
To prevent this from happening at your student housing community, know your rights under the FHAct and honor your responsibility to ensure a safe community for all your residents. Consider using a no-charge, third-party pet screening and assistance animal validation provider. This can help mitigate your liability, save time and prevent unnecessary lost pet revenue. It can also create consistency and standardization for pet policies and reasonable accommodation review procedures at your communities.
Note: The information in this article is based on HUD's 2013 memo regarding assistance animals. HUD has since released new guidelines in the 2020 Assistance Animal Notice (FHEO-2020-01). 2/5/2020