Here at ASEO, we know that you love pets just as much as your residents do, but we also know that not all pets are simply considered household animals. Whether a resident needs a pet for emotional support, medical reasons, or just for the cuddles, it’s essential to support them. Keep reading to find out the differences between a household pet, service animal, and support animal.
A household pet is just as it sounds; this is an animal that people bring into their homes solely for love and companionship. Many people keep cats, dogs, hamsters, and birds as household pets. When it comes to leasing, you will typically charge a pet fee for household pets since they can cause damage. There are also certain breed restrictions for the bigger and more aggressive breeds.
A service dog is specially trained to perform a function or job for an owner with a physical, intellectual, or emotional disability. Although service animals can provide emotional support, they are specifically trained to complete a task like to guide a visually impaired person or signal the onset of a medical issue such as a seizure. Service animals are protected under the Americans with Disability Act or ADA, which means that they can be allowed anywhere their owner goes. Because they are not technically pets, landlords cannot charge monthly pet fees. Nonetheless, a service animal is still an animal, which means that they can damage an apartment, so a standard deposit will still be required, and there may be costs or move out for repairs.
Emotional Support Animal
An emotional support animal does exactly as it sounds; they provide emotional support. However, they are not covered under ADA, which means they might not be able to go everywhere with their owner. The two areas that they are covered under are housing and air travel, which means that you cannot charge pet fees or pet deposits. Should you not allow pets at your community, you will have to make reasonable accommodations for those who require an emotional support animal. Although you can ask for the certification of an emotional support animal, you cannot ask what they are for or why they are required.
So now that you know the difference between household pets, service animals, and support animals, you can feel confident when renting to anyone with pets. Have any questions? Feel free to ask away in the comments below.