When renting a home, the American Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to the rental property as if it were a business.

Keep in mind that a Service Animal is not a pet, it is an animal that works to assist the person with tasks and activities or provides emotional support. It may not be obvious why the animal is needed, service animals perform many functions.

A Service Animal does not have to undergo a certification or training to become a service animal, as long as the animal provides a benefit to the person with a disability it becomes a service animal.

When renting a property, there can be no pet fee or pet deposit collected for the service animal, also it is prohibited to charge extra for the the animal (such as a higher rent). In properties that do not allow pets, exception has to be made for a service animal, because a Service Animal is not a pet.

If the property has a weight limit for animals, that has to be waived for a Service Animal, for example, if it is only ok for small or medium size animals to live there, you have to make exceptions for the large animal that is a Service Animal.

The American Disability Act supercedes any State, County or City ordinances. Also, a local business policies on "No Pets" does not apply to Service Animals because it is not a pet.

In certain cases monkeys, cats, birds and even miniature horses may qualify as service animals.

Further Information:

ADA's Web-site: Commonly Asked Questions about Service Animals In Places of Business

Fair Housing Rights Center of Southern Pennsylvania: Service Animals

This blog is not intended to give legal advice and if you feel that you have a situation that requires legal advice, please seek the assistance of a qualified lawyer.

Contact Erna and Petur Sigurdsson, Realtors at The Viking Team, Realty at 321-263-5096 for help buying or selling a home in Longwood, Lake Mary, Altamonte Springs, Sanford, Seminole and Orange County and the surrounding areas of Central Florida. To Search For Homes For Sale in Central Florida Click Here.