6 Tips For Support Animals On Your Properties

Support animals (also known as emotional support animals) have been a growing concern for property owners. As a loss control representative, I find that many property managers and owners are unfamiliar with all the complexities of accommodating support animal requests.
July 6, 2021 | Property-owner
By: Leslie S.
Leslie Stoll is a Senior Loss Control Representative working in the Chicagoland area. Leslie joined the Acuity team in January 2020. She specializing in workers’ compensation having come to Acuity from a monoline workers compensation carrier. Leslie also has experience as a multiline carrier loss control representative as well. She is well versed on assessing all lines of coverage in order to help customers identify, evaluate, control and reduce risk with practical solutions and recommendations. Leslie is a Certified Safety Professional (CSP), holds the Associates in Risk Management designation (ARM) from the Insurance Institute of America, and is a graduate of Illinois State University’s Safety Program. Leslie began her career working in private industry (manufacturing) and later transitioned into the insurance industry. Outside of her career, Leslie uses her knowledge of safety and risk assessment to teach women’s self-defense classes at her family’s martial arts school.

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Support animals (also known as emotional support animals) have been a growing concern for property owners. As a loss control representative, I find that many property managers and owners are unfamiliar with all the complexities of accommodating support animal requests. Many of our policyholders believe there is nothing they can do but allow anyone to have any animal they want. However, this is not the case.

 

Below are 6 facts about support animals that every property owner should know to protect their business interests. 

 

  1. A support animal is not necessarily the same thing as a service animal. Service animals are trained to perform a duty for their owners. Emotional support animals have no specific training. 
  2. It is acceptable for management to establish rules and guidelines for emotional support animals that will primarily reside on their property. 
  3. Management has the authority to evaluate all support animal requests to determine if accommodations can be made. This link from hud.gov provides useful questions to help you determine whether reasonable accommodations are required.
  4. You can refuse to accommodate an emotional support animal if that animal poses a direct threat to others. However, simply using breed type as a determining factor is not acceptable. The individual animal’s demeanor must be considered.
  5. You cannot charge an extra fee for the emotional support animal, but you can require that the tenant pay for any damages that might be caused by the animal.
  6. You can establish rules and expectations for animal and owner behavior.

 

Educating yourself and your staff members on the regulations surrounding support animals will help you make informed decisions concerning your properties.

 

Source

United States, Congress, OFFICE OF FAIR HOUSING AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY. Assessing a Person’s Request to Have an Animal as a Reasonable Accommodation Under the Fair Housing Act, HUDAsstAnimalNC1-28-2020.Pdf, 2020.

By: Leslie S.
Leslie Stoll is a Senior Loss Control Representative working in the Chicagoland area. Leslie joined the Acuity team in January 2020. She specializing in workers’ compensation having come to Acuity from a monoline workers compensation carrier. Leslie also has experience as a multiline carrier loss control representative as well. She is well versed on assessing all lines of coverage in order to help customers identify, evaluate, control and reduce risk with practical solutions and recommendations. Leslie is a Certified Safety Professional (CSP), holds the Associates in Risk Management designation (ARM) from the Insurance Institute of America, and is a graduate of Illinois State University’s Safety Program. Leslie began her career working in private industry (manufacturing) and later transitioned into the insurance industry. Outside of her career, Leslie uses her knowledge of safety and risk assessment to teach women’s self-defense classes at her family’s martial arts school.

Author of Services