Landlord's Guide to Service Animals and Pets - article banner

Rental properties in Dayton have several laws and regulations about the permissibility of animals or pets. Being a landlord, one must be familiar with laws and acts about service animals. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), differently-abled people can keep service animals or emotional support animals and bring them to public accommodations. However, they have to stick to the rules and regulations authorized by the government.

Before getting a pet/animal in a Dayton rental home, you must be aware of the following critical information regarding service animals, emotional support animals, and pets.

Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Pets – A Brief Introduction

  • Service Animals

According to the ADA, service animals, most commonly dogs, assist people with disabilities, such as visual impairments, and are not considered pets.

  • Emotional Support Animals

These animals do not assist a person physically. They help people with mental conditions and provide companionship, relieve loneliness, and help with depression and anxiety by their mere presence.

The owners of service and emotional support animals have documents that certify the service animal as a trained professional. Owners have to put a collar around the neck of these animals for easier identification.

  • Pets

Pets are domestic animals, such as dogs, cats, fish, and birds, for companionship and pleasure.

Dayton Laws About Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, And Pets

As a landlord in Dayton, you have to understand the needs of physically disabled people. Hence, it is required to know about local, state, and federal rules about pets, service animals, and emotional support animals. Under Ohio law and the national American Disabilities Act (ADA), there are several entries that landlords should read before renting tenants with service animals.

  • Ohio law and the federal American Disabilities Act (ADA) prevents discrimination against people who keep animals in rental houses. If the tenants are physically disabled or suffering from a mental condition such as depression, landlords should allow service animals and emotional support animals in their rental property.
  • Under the new Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) guidelines, landlords can ask for written certification for service and emotional support animals if their tenants keep animals in the rentals. The documents should be represented in court for verification.
  • Unofficial letters from third-party providers are not accepted for verification. It must be from an on-medical service agency, a person’s healthcare provider, or a peer support group.
  • Owners should not deny animals based on their breed or weight. This rule applies to any pet in general.

Under title III of the ADA, service animals are not considered pets. Therefore, landlords cannot charge additional rent for the animal. Additionally, owners can’t stop using these animals in their property, even though their lease agreements may disallow pets.

Service animals and emotional support animals are not restricted to property premises. They are allowed to go anywhere with their owners.

Landlords can take pet fees for allowing animals on their property. They can also demand extra charges in case an animal has caused significant damage to the property. Landlords, further, can also evict the tenants if their animal is a threat and any harm to neighbors.

Responsibilities of tenants with service animals and emotional support animals

  • Tenants have to provide a letter from an experienced physician stating that they have a disability and need the service animal/emotional support animal to cope with the disability or mental condition.
  • Tenants should also submit a personal statement that explains a need for reasonable accommodation to your service animal, which provides assistance and support.
  • Tenants should manage their service animals and prevent them from causing significant damage to the unit. In case animals harm the property, tenants have to pay the cost of repair.
  • Tenants should submit the proof and a health certificate of the vaccination and immunizations of animals.

In case a landlord denies a request for reasonable accommodation, tenants have the right to complain to government agencies about the discrimination.

As a Dayton landlord, you should adhere to Ohio Law and ADA and allow service/emotional support animals and pets to the property with tenants who need one. Consider being a gentle and understanding landlord and try to be transparent while making lease agreements.

Support animals and petsIf you need more clarity about animal laws, pet policies, and permissibility of pets in the Dayton Rental property, you can contact us at ManCo Property Services. Our experts can assist you in best managing your Dayton rental properties.