Rental Houses and Pets: Service Animals vs Support Animals

As pet owners we know that sometimes renting a house can be quite the challenging task. From price to availability, there is a laundry list of reasons the entire thing could become a headache. Not to mention there are various forms of “pets” that are named when dealing with the rental process. General animals come with a pet deposit and usually and increased rent or fees, however there are other types of animals that may or may not fall into this same category. I am, of course, referring to service animals and support animals and how they are viewed in the rental process.

What are service animals?
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, a service animal is defined as dogs trained specifically to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities.  This includes things like dogs that guide people who are blind, or other scenarios we see on a day to day basis. They are also used for getting help for someone having a seizure, or helping people with anxiety of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) cope with daily living. The list goes on and on and it is quite amazing what some of these animals are able to do to help.

What is the rental process for service animals?
Because service animals are trained and certified to assist disabled people they come with no fees. This means no additional pet deposit or extra rent amounts due to the animal living in the home. If you would like more information on renting a house in Toledo, Ohio with your service animal please contact us now to find out how we can help.

What is a support animal?
A support animal, which is often times referred to as an emotional support animal, is an animal that provides emotional support to its owner through means of companionship. This is usually a dog or a cat, but can also include other species. One thing to keep in mind is that support animals, unlike service animals, are NOT trained to perform a specific task to help someone with a disability. They are around for emotional support of the individual.

What is the rental process for a support animal?
This can sometimes be a touchy subject as many people believe that if their animal is providing a “needed” service that it qualifies as a support animal. When a support animal is provided to someone with a psychiatric disability or emotional impairment the animal falls under the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and is viewed as a, “reasonable accommodation”. However, without proper paperwork stating the animal is in fact a true support animal they will come with the normal pet fees (deposit and rent additions).

Conclusion
It is important to remember that it doesn’t matter if your animal is a service animal or a verified support animal, you  will still be responsible for any damage or excessive wear and tear caused by the pet. And make sure to have a certified service animal or a medical professional prescription for a therapy pet, or it means you will have to pay pet deposit and pet rent, as well as any damages caused.

If you have any questions about your service animal or support animal and renting a home in Toledo, Ohio please contact us today.

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