Can a Landlord Deny You Housing Because of a Service Dog?
This question comes up more often than you’d think. People want to know if they can be denied housing from a home owner or rental company when trying to rent a house/apt because of their service animal. Fortunately, the answer is no. You cannot be denied housing because you own a Service Dog. Unlike an average pet, a service dog must be treated like a medication and disability, being denied either of those is not only discrimination, it is illegal. In fact, you are protected by the Fair Housing Amendment Act which means you cannot be denied a living place because you need something for a disability.
How the Fair Housing Amendment Act Protects People with Disabilities
The Civil Rights Movement was a social justice movement that resulted in a law that prohibited discrimination on basis of race, sex and religion. Then in 1989 that the Fair Housing Act was put into place and this law prohibited discrimination against people disabilities. It was finally recognized that having a disability is not a choice and it should be against the law to discriminate against people with disabilities which includes denying them proper care in the form of a service animal. And, as most of us know when one of us has a disability we require medical equipment to help us get through our day. Your SDWR Service Dog is considered medical equipment that is needed to help you, so in turn, the laws prohibits any landlord denying you housing because of your Service Dog. Your SDWR Service Dog is not an average dog; therefore, your Service Dog cannot be categorized under the average pet rule. This means that you cannot be charged a deposit for your Service Dog living with you.
Most acts of discrimination in this regard happen because people lack knowledge of the laws that protect people with disabilities. It is okay to educate people of your rights in a respectful manner. This will help clear up any confusion for future endeavors.
Additional information about service animals in housing can be obtained from:
• the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
• the U.S. Department of Justice.
Moral of the story? You never have to worry that your service dog will limit your housing options. Unlike a pet, your service dog should never require a deposit nor should you be denied any living situations because of it. SDWR is here to make your health and life better. Until there is cure there is a dog…