service dogs
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service dogs (by 6x6 [TN]) Dec 4, 2018 3:17 PM
       service dogs (by NE [PA]) Dec 4, 2018 3:21 PM
       service dogs (by 6x6 [TN]) Dec 4, 2018 3:43 PM
       service dogs (by David [MI]) Dec 4, 2018 3:45 PM
       service dogs (by 6x6 [TN]) Dec 4, 2018 3:52 PM
       service dogs (by NE [PA]) Dec 4, 2018 4:31 PM
       service dogs (by Deanna [TX]) Dec 4, 2018 5:10 PM
       service dogs (by 6x6 [TN]) Dec 4, 2018 5:20 PM
       service dogs (by S i d [MO]) Dec 4, 2018 6:24 PM
       service dogs (by DJ [VA]) Dec 4, 2018 8:28 PM
       service dogs (by Oregon Woodsmoke [ID]) Dec 4, 2018 8:38 PM
       service dogs (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Dec 4, 2018 9:56 PM
       service dogs (by Robert J [CA]) Dec 4, 2018 10:12 PM
       service dogs (by John... [MI]) Dec 4, 2018 10:51 PM
       service dogs (by Hoosier [IN]) Dec 5, 2018 12:07 AM
       service dogs (by Hoosier [IN]) Dec 5, 2018 12:08 AM
       service dogs (by Hoosier [IN]) Dec 5, 2018 12:09 AM
       service dogs (by Barb [MO]) Dec 5, 2018 7:28 AM
       service dogs (by 6x6 [TN]) Dec 5, 2018 5:33 PM
       service dogs (by John... [MI]) Dec 6, 2018 6:42 AM
       service dogs (by 6x6 [TN]) Dec 6, 2018 5:18 PM
       service dogs (by Hoosier [IN]) Dec 6, 2018 7:05 PM
       service dogs (by Still Learning [NH]) Dec 7, 2018 3:53 AM
       service dogs (by Barb [MO]) Dec 7, 2018 6:01 AM
       service dogs (by 6x6 [TN]) Dec 7, 2018 4:04 PM

service dogs (by 6x6 [TN]) Posted on: Dec 4, 2018 3:17 PM

Day 19 of 21 day challenge. I just took down a dog lot in the back yard of my SFH. I do not want pets in the house and I feel if I allow pets outside they will probably end up inside at least on some occasions. If someone with a service dog were to apply and otherwise qualified I would have to allow the dog. What should I have in my lease regarding this and what should the charges be? If the pet does damage how do you address that? Have any of you rented to someone with a service dog before and if so,how did it go. Thank you for your time.

service dogs (by NE [PA]) Posted on: Dec 4, 2018 3:21 PM

You can't charge and you don't need anything specific in your lease regarding the service dog. Damages are still damages. --174.201.xx.x

service dogs (by 6x6 [TN]) Posted on: Dec 4, 2018 3:43 PM

So there is no pet deposit or rent? Thanks!

service dogs (by David [MI]) Posted on: Dec 4, 2018 3:45 PM

Not getting pet fees is the least of your financial concerns. The insurance policy on your house may exclude certain breeds but if it's a service animal, you still have to allow it.

service dogs (by 6x6 [TN]) Posted on: Dec 4, 2018 3:52 PM

Thank you for the heads up David. Sounds like that could end up being a fight with the insurance company,or maybe no fight,they just win.

service dogs (by NE [PA]) Posted on: Dec 4, 2018 4:31 PM

Get very good at screening.

service dogs (by Deanna [TX]) Posted on: Dec 4, 2018 5:10 PM

Service dogs have a job to do. I'm cool with them. I have friends who used to train service dogs.

Emotional support dogs-- there's a lot of people with a genuine need for them, but the label is used as a loophole for people who don't want no-pets policies in general to apply to their pet in particular.

It's nice to see the airlines are starting to crack down on the people who try to abuse the system, because the people who are most likely to abuse the system are also not the most likely candidates to put in the effort of training a well-behaved animal.

Once upon a time, in my first 3 years of ll'ing, I rented to a pair of sisters. One had a "teacup chihuahua" puppy that she claimed "helped her with her depression". Because she was so depressed, she couldn't hold a job. She was very proud of that. I rented to them because I figured Good Sister was Responsible enough for two and Bad Sister would just be along for the ride.

The dog was (a) totally untrained, and (b) had been taken from its mother at less than 6 weeks of age. She'd only had it for about 2 weeks before applying with me. The dog was dead within a month. She didn't bother replacing it. She had called it an ESA the first time she brought up the subject-- but always referred to it as a pet ever after. I just smiled and nodded.

(The sisters? They lasted about 2 months. Bad Sister ended up hooking up with Good Sister's Bad Boy Boyfriend in all her massive amounts of spare time and drove off into the sunset when Bad Boy Boyfriend told Good Sister about it. Good Sister couldn't afford the place any longer without Bad Sister's disability check.)

The moral of the story--- the kind of people who are likely to pull a fake-ESA shenanigans will usually have something else in their lives to disqualify them. So it's okay to be totally cool with their ESA "---but I need to you bring in more income" or "I need you to have been at your job for more than 6 months" or "I need you to have a credit score of at least 650" or "I need a positive landlord reference from your current landlord" or whatever. Just make sure you screen everyone the same for that property, whether they have a fake ESA or not.

service dogs (by 6x6 [TN]) Posted on: Dec 4, 2018 5:20 PM

Thank you Deanna for the feed back and the story. I love animals I just think tenants usually don't do well with them. Not necessarily Just tenants.

service dogs (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Dec 4, 2018 6:24 PM

6x6... you're new here I know. We used to discuss this topic 2-3 times per week until I think we finally got burned out on it. Do a Search using the tool above for ESA, service animal, and therapy animal. Each category is it's own separate deal...and NONE of them are pets. Hence, no pet fees, deposits, or rents. And no denying them either.

service dogs (by DJ [VA]) Posted on: Dec 4, 2018 8:28 PM

Like Sid said, do a search for the topic here, and you will learn a lot. Also do an internet search to learn the difference between the three - ESA, Service animal & pet. There are laws that say not only can you not deny them, but you cannot charge for ESA or Service animal.

On another note, though - you might not want to be so quick to refuse pets. Especially if you have a fenced yard, etc. (Depending on your class of rental = more successful in a higher class) IF you SCREEN carefully, you can fill a need for those who have pets and can't find a decent place that takes them. You can get more rent and potentially have a longer-term tenant. BUT YOU MUST SCREEN THE ANIMALS AS WELL AS THE PEOPLE!

For instance: Any well-behaved & cared-for dog should have been trained in basic obedience skills such as "sit", "stay", "come". Just that weeds out a LOT. You do NOT want someone who says the dog stays outside - that dog is neglected.

service dogs (by Oregon Woodsmoke [ID]) Posted on: Dec 4, 2018 8:38 PM

I take carefully screened dogs. I will not accept an outside dog.

Outside dogs are not well cared for. They tend to be boredom barkers and they will damage landscaping.

There is a high chance that a chained dog will bite. If the backyard dog is fenced and not chained, there is still a higher chance of biting because the yard is very much the dog's personal territory.

I only accept dogs who are well loved family members with a family plan about how to care properly for the dog. Not a dog that is tossed out into the backyard and not included in the family. --174.216.xx.xx

service dogs (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Posted on: Dec 4, 2018 9:56 PM


No outside dogs.

We LOVE pets! We only take animals we have met at the InHomeVisit. Proves they are ok. No risk.

Animals help make me rich. $150 Non-Refindable Animal Registration Fee per animal plus $35per animal on the rent.

Do the math:

12 x $35 = $420, plus the $150 = $570 extra income with making a single upgrade. We rent to MANY who have 2 animals so bringing in $1140 the first year then $840 per year after that.

Say they stay 4 years = $1140 + $840 + $840 + $840 = $3660 because I found a way to deal with WHAT PEOPLE WANT and ARE WILLING TO PAY YOU - ANIMALS!

80% of applicants either have or want to add animals. A no animal policy severely limits your ability to find quality renters.

Service animals: don’t sweat until someone says they have one. My app is clear: list all animals. Next line: Anything important we should know.


service dogs (by Robert J [CA]) Posted on: Dec 4, 2018 10:12 PM

All agencies tell us landlords that we can't charge a pet deposit for service dogs. So I do my homework contacting previous landlords of the applicant. Not those on the application but the landlords that show up on the credit report.

With the applicants prior history with regards to damages and their ability to cover costs from known savings and spending habits, give me more tools to work with.

One applicant had a history of dog damages to rentals, taking no responsibility on the repairs. They would move out not having enough of a deposit to cover the damages. The prior landlords would either file a suit in small claims court or just not refund any of their deposit. (This was before the time government took the side of tenants over the landlords ability to protect themselves from uncaring tenants).

I was able to document that an applicant had a dog, service or not, that caused damages to rentals and wouldn't leave the rental in rent-able condition. My rejection was, "you allowed the hardwood floors to get destroyed and the yard to be torn up and refused to cover the repair costs". Nothing about a dog doing this.


service dogs (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Dec 4, 2018 10:51 PM

What Sid said -- do a search. Just one minor adjustment to what Sid said though -- "Therapy" animals would actually be considered "pets" in a rental. These are animals that provide a service or fellowship for OTHER people. They are not Service Animals and are not Emotional Support Animals -- and are therefore not covered by the Fair Housing Act that we have to follow. They are just "pets" when it comes to rentals.

(There are a couple of STATE-level exceptions to that, so check your state laws, of course, but they are not protected under federal laws.)

- John...


service dogs (by Hoosier [IN]) Posted on: Dec 5, 2018 12:07 AM

I'm with Brad on this one...we make a LOT of money on animals. I have a relatively small portfolio of properties and estimate I take in over $2,000 each year for animal fees...and spend very little when the tenants move out to fix/repair things from animals (we don't have carpet in any of our units).

We charge both an animal registration fee (we have a brief form) and then a monthly amount. The monthly amount varies...$35/mo for any animal with a "full grown" weight of over 20 pounds and $50/mo for those larger...for the most part this separates cats from dogs (although cats can often do MORE damage with their urine odors). We have a limit of 2 animals per house.

Avoid using the word "pet"...always use "animal". You might also want to specify in your lease what you consider an "animal". For example, do you care about birds? Hamsters? Snakes? Iguanas? I have one tenant with a's in a cage and we agreed on $10/mo for potential odors and she's ok with that.

Although a bit unrelated...also think about fish tanks. The fish are not an issue...but a 100 gallon fish tank can cause a lot of water damage if it leaks or we have a lease clause stating no liquid items over 5 gallons including waterbeds and fish tanks.

service dogs (by Hoosier [IN]) Posted on: Dec 5, 2018 12:08 AM

I should add that service animals go through a rigorous training/approval process and are normally well-behaved and non-aggressive. I have rented to one person with a service animal and had no issues...although it's fair to ask for the documentation of it's "service" status to have on record.

service dogs (by Hoosier [IN]) Posted on: Dec 5, 2018 12:09 AM

Sorry my initial post has an error...should say we charge $35/mo for those UNDER 20 pounds.

service dogs (by Barb [MO]) Posted on: Dec 5, 2018 7:28 AM

After you search for and read about ESAs and SDs, if you have specific questions, feel free to ask. John(MI) and I have nearly all the answers.

There is also a lot of good info at Service Dog Central. --131.151.xx.xx

service dogs (by 6x6 [TN]) Posted on: Dec 5, 2018 5:33 PM

Thank you all for your advise. I now may consider animals. I will have to learn more so I don't mess up.

service dogs (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Dec 6, 2018 6:42 AM

Just to clarify something so that you don't get the wrong idea: When looking at what Brad and Hoosier said -- that is ONLY FOR PETS. It DOES NOT APPLY to Service Animals (which is what you are asking about -- so their answers are really off-topic here, IMO).

You may not charge an "animal" registration fee, additional security deposit, nor extra animal rent for a Service or Emotional Support Animal.

I don't think Brad or Hoosier are doing that since it would be illegal -- but their answers here seemed to imply that a bit, so I wanted to make sure you understood that.


- John...


service dogs (by 6x6 [TN]) Posted on: Dec 6, 2018 5:18 PM

Thank you John,I understand.

service dogs (by Hoosier [IN]) Posted on: Dec 6, 2018 7:05 PM

John u r correct, thanks for clarifying

service dogs (by Still Learning [NH]) Posted on: Dec 7, 2018 3:53 AM

ESA and Service Animal if they pass your screening you must take even with a no pets policy. If you do decide to take animals think about your flooring choice. I have multis with thin walls, carpet and common areas so I choose not to take animals. The clean up I had when I bought the building from units with dogs, cats and ferrets was awful. Brad and others use Allure flooring which they install and swear by as pet friendly.

service dogs (by Barb [MO]) Posted on: Dec 7, 2018 6:01 AM

I use a “Scooter Test” to permit Any dog. Scooter is my 75 lb lab who is a trained service dog, if your dog is aggressive to my Scooter, your dog doesn’t move in. Period.

service dogs (by 6x6 [TN]) Posted on: Dec 7, 2018 4:04 PM

Thank you Still Learning(NH) for the flooring advise. Thank you Barb(MO),would love to see the big lab.

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