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jroadrunner, Renter in Paradise, CA

I have a small registered,service dog.Why do some ask for a "special" deposit,before renting.?

Asked by jroadrunner, Paradise, CA Sat Sep 7, 2013

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The landlord cannot refuse leasing due to a service animal or charge a pet deposit. Reason being, the service animal is not a pet. It's a good idea to provide the landlord with a prescription from your doctor for the service animal.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 7, 2013
You can not be refused a rental because you have a service dog. However as with any per a service animal can cause damage to the unit. therefore it makes since that a pet deposit would be required.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 7, 2013
All animals, regardless of type or size, pose a risk to cleanliness and maintenance in rentals. Even the smallest dogs can cause property damage.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 7, 2013
Mark and James - your answers are basically correct but should be clarified. Having a registered service dog is not enough to waive a pet deposit.
If the animal is for emotional support and provides no other service, a landlord may be required to waive their "no pets" policy, though a deposit may be required. The key document to receive an exemption is a doctor's prescription or therapist's letter stating that the animal is required for health reasons.
A "service dog" needs to be required by you to assist with normal living functions, such as a seeing-eye or hearing dog. In some cases emotional assistance animals also qualify as service animals. Service animals are exempt from deposit requirements, though the tenant is responsible for any damage done to the premises by the animal.
My point is that certifying the animal doesn't qualify it as an emotional support or service dog - you must establish that it provides a necessary service. The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) does not require that an animal be certified.
Here is a link below to the National Service Animal Registry that answers you questions.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 8, 2013
James has it right. As a service animal is not considered a pet, a landlord may not charge a pet deposit for the animal. To do so would be a Fair Housing violation. To avoid this dilemma a landlord might consider just setting the general security deposit rate assuming that every tenant is going to have an animal on the premises even though pets would not be allowed. For example, if the current deposit policy is for the deposit to be $1000 and a pet deposit of $150, the landlord can simply charge everyone, regardless of having a pet or not, $1150. Provided, of course, that the deposit does not exceed two times the monthly rent for an unfurnished home or 3 times the monthly rent for a furnished home.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 7, 2013
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