Pet or Service Animal

Did you that a service animal is not a pet?  Landlords and homeowners’ associations cannot deny occupancy to someone with a service animal even if the owner or homeowners’ association has a strict “no pets” policy.   A pet deposit cannot be charged nor can “pet rent.”  The tenant is responsible for any damage done by the animal.

The Washington Realtor’s Hotline attorney stated the following on 1/28/14:

“There is no distinction between types of service animals….While state law requires a note from tenant’s doctor, federal law does not. The Fair Housing Law is going to be construed liberally, in favor of tenant. If the tenant claims that the dog is a service animal or produces a letter from the tenant’s doctor indicating that the tenant requires the dog(s) for comfort, landlord will be taking a significant risk to refuse to rent to tenant or to terminate tenant’s lease.”

Nothing found herein should be construed as an attempt to offer or render a legal opinion or otherwise engage in the practice of law. You should obtain the advice of an attorney well versed in these matters.

About Coldwell Banker Bain Property Management

As residential property managers for Coldwell Banker Bain Property Management Division, we manage single family residences, individual condominium units and small apartment complexes in the greater Puget Sound region. We serve Seattle, Tacoma, Anacortes, Marysville, Bainbridge Island, Lynnwood, Everett, Redmond, Bellevue and many other cities in Washington State. We also offer full service commercial property management.
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