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Old 12-11-2009, 11:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
Lin
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Default Service dogs and "pet" rental fees?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but its illegal to charge extra monthly rent for a service dog? I'm in the process of moving (those who know I just moved in October, you wouldn't believe the insanity since then) and was looking at a house today. I have Tessa as my service dog, and then a second GSD Emma. They said they had no problem with pets but since I had 2 dogs their policy was $20 extra per month per dog and I would have to pay $40 (knowing Tessa was a SD, as I was standing there with her in full harness and vest/bags.) I've spent probably the last hour reading up on laws, the fair housing amendments act, IAADP's legal resources, and looking around from service dog central. Can someone point me in the right direction for what I'm looking for? My head is just spinning here, I desperately need new glasses and its killing me staring at the screen!
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Old 12-12-2009, 12:00 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Service dogs and "pet" rental fees?

I would think that so long as they are charging extra to people with regular pets that it wouldn't be considered discrimination. If they were ONLY charging people with service dogs then I would say that's discrimination. Otherwise they still have to pay to have the place de-doggied after you leave. I don't know about the laws, though, but it just makes sense to me that if they are charging for other animals that you would be charged too, sd or no.
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Old 12-12-2009, 12:13 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Service dogs and "pet" rental fees?

Well from the DOJ's laws on service animals in businesses, "Neither a deposit nor a surcharge may be imposed on an individual with a disability as a condition to allowing a service animal to accompany the individual with a disability, even if deposits are routinely required for pets."
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Old 12-12-2009, 12:19 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Service dogs and "pet" rental fees?

My Fidelco girls have to be registered with the town, but they CAN NOT be charged a licence fee.
I know that in CT, charging for you service dog is illegal.
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Old 12-12-2009, 02:25 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Service dogs and "pet" rental fees?

On the other hand, they may not have to take you with a dog other than a service dog. How bad do you want this place?
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Old 12-12-2009, 10:42 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Service dogs and "pet" rental fees?

I think the issue is that there are two dogs - one a SD and one not. The charge should be only $20 for non SD - not the $40 they are asking.
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Old 12-12-2009, 11:07 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Service dogs and "pet" rental fees?

I understand the original concern. What I'm saying is that as a renter you are at a disadvantage and asking if the OP wants the place enough to pay an extra $40 a month. If you start out with an argument, you may be prejudicing the place against you. They may find a different reason not to rent to you. If you are willing to take that chance and possibly consider the hassle of filing a claim that will take months to resolve, then this battle may be worth the fight. There's nothing wrong with standing up for your principals but do consider chosing your battles.
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Old 12-12-2009, 11:13 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Service dogs and "pet" rental fees?

Lin
Did you bring it up to them? Maybe you should call them and tell them you were just thinking over the lease/rental terms and had a question. Ask them again what the pet rent was on the rental unit. If they say $40, then ask them if the charge is including the one dog that is a service dog. Maybe they really either did not realize it or did not think about it when they gave you the quote. If they say that it does include the SD, then just mention that you did not think there would be a pet rent on the service animal, but you were not sure.

Than you can decide what to do. It may also make them think about it and look into it a little more. Maybe they'd even find they should shouldn't be charging you for the SD.
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Old 12-12-2009, 03:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Service dogs and "pet" rental fees?

They told us specifically what the pet rent was. She said the base rent for the house, then said its $20 per dog so that would be $40 extra per month. And as I said, I was there with Tessa in full harness and pocket vest with service dog patches and the woman asked me some questions about service dogs like why they cannot be pet or greeted while working.

Its not about an argument, its about following the law. If its illegal to charge extra rent for a service animal then they need to know that in addition to my not having to pay it. When you are out with a service dog, you are a representation of every service dog team.
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Old 12-12-2009, 04:22 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Service dogs and "pet" rental fees?

I still say, ask again. Nicely and in a "gee I just thought of this" kind of way

Quote:
Quote:Reasonable Accommodation
Reasonable accommodations are modifications that are practical and feasible. The Fair Housing Act requires that owners and landlords provide reasonable accommodation (that is, a change in rules and policies) when necessary to permit an individual with a disability equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling. It is the responsibility of the person with the disability to request any necessary reasonable accommodations necessary for tenancy.
The reasonable accomodation being that the SD is not charged a deposit since it is not a pet.

continued...
Quote:
Quote:Service Animal Categorized
...it is HUD's position that no deposit may be charged for the service animal.
http://www.deltasociety.org/Page.aspx?pid=489
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