Landlords cannot discriminate against a tenant because of a tenant’s disability. In many cases, landlords are required to make a reasonable accommodation to take into consideration the disability and in order to provide the disabled person with “equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling.”
The “reasonable accommodation” rule for tenants with disabilities in California imposes a duty on landlords to reasonably accommodate tenants when:
- The tenant is disabled
- There is a request for a reasonable accommodation
- There is a nexus between the request and the tenant’s disability
- The request is reasonable
A request is normally reasonable if it does no alter or create an undue burden on the landlord or his property. For example, a property that does not allow pets might need to make an exception for a disabled person’s companion animal if the pet does not create an undue financial or administrative burden.
Service Animals vs. Companion / Support Animals
Service animals are not the same as companion / support animals. “A pet or support animal may be able to discern that the handler is in distress, but it is what the animal is trained to do in response to this awareness that distinguishes a service animal from an observant pet or support animal.” See 75 Fed Reg 56193.
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The Law Office of David Piotrowski represents landlords throughout southern California and can assist with a tenant eviction.
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