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Old 07-24-2014, 02:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation Landlord issues

Hello! I am wanting to get help and honest answers on what to do about my landlord. I have a couple of major health issues and have documentation for all of them..I was told by my doctor that a service dog/emotional support dog would help dramatically..I adopted a wonderful german shepherd,he is 7 months and has already started home training and starts training with a professional trainer in two weeks. The issues is my landlord does not like large dogs,however I don't feel that a small dog would properly help me with the things I need help with. So my question is,how do I go about this? I truly do have major health issues,and I do not understand how a landlord can say no about a dog for someone with disabilities..I live in california,so I'm not sure if anyone knows if there are certain laws against discrimination? My landlord has 5 houses total and his mom lives in one of them with two large dogs;Im not sure if that helps me out at all..Im trying to handle this correctly so any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
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Old 07-24-2014, 03:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Legally...unless its in your lease to not have dogs over a certain size. He can't do anything at the moment. Now...once your lease is up, or near up, he can offer not to renew your lease.

Right now...your dog isn't a service dog. He's a service dog in training and its up to your landlord if he wants to allow him in your apartment. The dog is currently not protected by the ADA and so its up to the landlord to do what he wants. He's not discriminating against your disability in this case, so he's not breaking any laws. He's just telling you he doesn't want the dog on his property.

I'll tell you this, I'm like 99% sure that if you broke your lease over this, he wouldn't have any chance against you in court if he decided to come after you for the lost rent money. The courts tend to side with the tenants on most issues like this, and in your case, I don't see how any court wouldn't side with you.
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Old 07-24-2014, 03:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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As suggested above, I would start by carefully reading the lease.

You might want to consider offering your landlord some additional security deposit to hedge against the possibility of your dog damaging his property.

Most of the landlords I know are primarily concerned about protecting their financial interests. I love big dogs but they do have more potential (or at least a perception by some) to cause a larger amount of damage than a small dog. I am speaking about averages--all dogs are different and I have seen some toy dogs do major damage and GSDs do none at all. There is also a perception issue at work here.

What a landlord wants most is a tenant that pays on time, doesn't damage the property, and stays in the property for a long time. Each turnover costs money so by staying put you are increasing his margins. Hedge against increased risk from the GSD with a bigger security deposit and he might just drop the issue.

Best of luck to you.
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Old 07-24-2014, 03:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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If you are disabled, you are legally allowed to have an Emotional Support Dog, which does NOT have public access rights, but does have housing (and I believe flight?) rights. You will want to talk to your landlord about the laws regarding Emotional Support Dogs, as this appears to be what you have.
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Old 07-24-2014, 03:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thank y'all for your help!
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Old 07-24-2014, 03:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Check out the bottom of this article and look more into the "fair housing act"

Psychiatric Service Dogs & Emotional Support Animals: Access to Public Places & Other Settings | Nolo.com

Looks like you'll need a note from your doctor documenting such a need, but that would be all.
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Old 07-24-2014, 03:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJEtzel View Post
If you are disabled, you are legally allowed to have an Emotional Support Dog, which does NOT have public access rights, but does have housing (and I believe flight?) rights. You will want to talk to your landlord about the laws regarding Emotional Support Dogs, as this appears to be what you have.
No...no you're not. Your disability has to be one that is covered by an emotional support dog. You shouldn't use this as a crutch until your dog is trained to deal with your actual disability.
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Old 07-24-2014, 04:00 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martemchik View Post
No...no you're not. Your disability has to be one that is covered by an emotional support dog. You shouldn't use this as a crutch until your dog is trained to deal with your actual disability.
You're right, I was vague. I meant that if the OP has a disability that her doctor says would be aided by a ESD, then she can legally have one and has housing rights. An ESD does not have to be task trained whatsoever.

"shouldn't use it as a crutch"... What a thing to say about someone who is disabled and needs a Service dog or Emotional Support dog.
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Old 07-24-2014, 04:17 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJEtzel View Post
You're right, I was vague. I meant that if the OP has a disability that her doctor says would be aided by a ESD, then she can legally have one and has housing rights. An ESD does not have to be task trained whatsoever.

"shouldn't use it as a crutch"... What a thing to say about someone who is disabled and needs a Service dog or Emotional Support dog.
Sorry I used bad language...at least I gave real legal advice rather advice on how to skirt the system.
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Old 07-24-2014, 04:18 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I agree with Mister C. My landlord said no pets until I offered to pay him $100 deposit per pet in addition to the security deposit and then he was happy to have 6 pets on the lease agreement. One of my puppies did do some damage but when we moved out we still got money back and he had money to fix what he wanted to fix (I agreed to everything on his list without dispute).
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