Did You Know – Service Animals

There’s a difference between a pet, support animal, and service animal.

In real estate, these terms for our furry friends are becoming more clearly defined, especially from a legal perspective. With people renting their homes and others investing in property for rental income, it’s important to know the differences.

Under the law, true service animals and support animals are not considered pets. Service animals perform services for a person, such as guiding a blind person, alerting a deaf person, or steadying a person while walking, for instance. A support animal – sometimes referred to as a companion animal or therapy animal — can be a dog, cat, bird, or other animal that accommodates a person with one or more major life impairments. If you’re renting a room, house, or apartment, you cannot bar these animals, but you can ask for documentation from a qualified health provider.

California legislative bill AB 1569 is looking to further define the access of animals; some people have misrepresented their pets as service animals thereby making it more difficult for the truly impaired to find practical housing.

For further details on service animals or rental questions, please contact Chris and the team at Estate & Investment Realty Group.