Fair Housing Accommodation Requests for Disability
Common reasonable accommodation requests include moving from an upstairs to a downstairs unit, relocating to a unit closer to an exit, and fixing an elevator. If you suffer from a disability, you may write a letter to your letter requesting a reasonable accommodation directly related to your disability. The federal Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 (FHAA) puts a duty upon landlords to “make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, or services” to provide equal access to housingtoa person with a disability. NRS 118.100 mirrors the federal anti-discrimination requirements. Landlords must grant the reasonable accommodation request even if the request results in a financial costto the landlord. However, landlords are not required to grant the request if the financial cost will cause an “undue financial or administrative burden” on the landlord. Whether there is an undue burden is determined on a case-by-case basis.
Even if the landlord has a “no pets” policy, you can still keep your service or emotional support animal. You should first submit a written request to the landlord. In this letter, you should ask the landlord to accommodate your disability by allowing you to keep your service or emotional support animal. Keep of a copy of this letter. You should include with your letter any medical documentation to support why you need the service animal and any certification for your animal.
Proof that an animal is a service animal is not required under the Fair Housing Act. The landlord is not allowed to ask for proof of your disability under the Fair Housing Act. However, the landlord can ask for proof that your needed service animal accommodation be related to your disability. A prescription from your doctor should be enough for an emotional support animal.
The landlord must allow you to keep your animal unless the request is unreasonable. An unreasonable request usually involves an animal that causes undue damage to the premises, makes too much noise, or attacks other tenants or their pets. You must also clean up after your service or emotional support animal.
If the landlord denies your request, ask the landlord to put this denial in writing. If you disagree with the denial, you can then file a Fair Housing complaint with the local U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) office.
A service or emotional support animal is not a pet and should not be subject to any extra pet deposit as this would discriminate against tenants with disabilities and violate the Fair Housing Act.