support animal
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support animal (by dino [CA]) Jul 11, 2019 3:19 PM
       support animal (by Jim in O C [CA]) Jul 11, 2019 3:56 PM
       support animal (by Barb [MO]) Jul 11, 2019 5:03 PM
       support animal (by Salernitana [CA]) Jul 11, 2019 7:35 PM
       support animal (by Jim in O C [CA]) Jul 11, 2019 8:56 PM
       support animal (by dino [CA]) Jul 11, 2019 9:21 PM
       support animal (by JKJ [MA]) Jul 12, 2019 7:03 AM
       support animal (by JKJ [MA]) Jul 12, 2019 7:06 AM
       support animal (by John... [MI]) Jul 12, 2019 9:27 AM
       support animal (by Tim [CA]) Jul 12, 2019 6:15 PM
       support animal (by JKJ [MA]) Jul 13, 2019 9:30 PM
       support animal (by Tim [CA]) Jul 13, 2019 11:00 PM
       support animal (by dino [CA]) Jul 14, 2019 12:00 AM
       support animal (by Tim [CA]) Jul 14, 2019 10:39 AM
       support animal (by dino [CA]) Jul 14, 2019 12:35 PM
       support animal (by Tim [CA]) Jul 14, 2019 3:21 PM
       support animal (by dino [CA]) Jul 14, 2019 3:58 PM
       support animal (by Tim [CA]) Jul 14, 2019 6:59 PM
       support animal (by dino [CA]) Jul 15, 2019 2:17 AM

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support animal (by dino [CA]) Posted on: Jul 11, 2019 3:19 PM

I don't remember if it was on this website, but I remember reading something where someone listed a law firm or lawyer that had a very good form to be used when a landlord encounters a situation with an emotional support animal.

If it was on this site, would someone who remembers list the info again. I tried the search function but I don't remember enough of the info in item when it was posted.

Thank you.

support animal (by Jim in O C [CA]) Posted on: Jul 11, 2019 3:56 PM

Scott Law Firm PC

201 Westwood Ave.

Columbia, MO 65203-2871

Great information on how to screen out fake service and emotional support animals. Worked for me on my last vacancy.

support animal (by Barb [MO]) Posted on: Jul 11, 2019 5:03 PM

My other form of screening is my "Scooter Test" where I do an in home visit with my Scooter (my trained service dog). If their dog can't accept my dog showing up in their house, they can't live in the home I have available. I refuse to allow an improperly socialized dog into one of my homes that is likely to put people at risk.

Scooter is a lab (mostly), so a good sized dog. Most dog owners know if their dog is likely to act inappropriately with another dog coming into their home. It has worked well so far. --131.151.xx.xx

support animal (by Salernitana [CA]) Posted on: Jul 11, 2019 7:35 PM

Jim in O C, thanks so much for the information, and the subject is "MO Resource" in 2019. Dino, I'm going to pore over that post myself just be prepared for the next turnover. Best of luck.

support animal (by Jim in O C [CA]) Posted on: Jul 11, 2019 8:56 PM

When I gave out the forms along with my rental application to be filled out and returned, guess what, they never came back. One person had her ESA certification on her phone. I don't accept phone copies!

support animal (by dino [CA]) Posted on: Jul 11, 2019 9:21 PM

Many thanks to Jim in O C!!!

Since we're on the topic of emotional support animals,,,,

The info at Scott Law Firm is great and I do anticipate making good use of that website. Do exercise caution though since the info there makes it clear that if your own state has more stringent laws, you need to take that into account.

Also, since according to the Scott Law Firm website, federal law allows for the landlord to deny an emotional support animal under certain limited circumstances such as an undue financial burden on the landlord, is additional cost of insurance for certain breeds considered a legitimate exception for denying a certain breed as an emotional support animal?

support animal (by JKJ [MA]) Posted on: Jul 12, 2019 7:03 AM

Dino, IF your insurance company doesn’t allow certain “aggressive” breeds and will cancel your policy or will substantially increase your rates HUD would consider the request unreasonable. Keep in mind your claim would then need to be substantiated with your insurance company. For all those that will say I’m wrong, I read that on a animal law web site. I’ll look for it and post the site. --174.199.x.xx

support animal (by JKJ [MA]) Posted on: Jul 12, 2019 7:06 AM

Here’s the article I read on

An issue sometimes arises where a housing provider/landlord's insurance company has restrictions on breeds of dogs in the insured's policy. The insurance company may label certain breeds of dogs as "dangerous" in the policy. A memorandum issued by the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) issued some guidelines to directors on how to handle this issue in cases of discrimination. The memo reiterates that each reasonable accommodation determination must be made on a case-by-case basis. An accommodation is considered unreasonable if it imposes an undue financial and administrative burden on a housing provider's operations. The memo then states:

If a housing provider's insurance carrier would cancel, substantially increase the costs of the insurance policy, or adversely change the policy terms because of the presence of a certain breed of dog or a certain animal, HUD will find that this imposes an undue financial and administrative burden on the housing provider.

support animal (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Jul 12, 2019 9:27 AM

Indeed -- the point of that is that you can't do "we don't allow that breed" stuff for ESAs or SAs. You need to get a written letter from your insurance company saying that they will cancel or significantly increase the price of your insurance if you have THAT SPECIFIC ANIMAL that accommodations are being requested for. Not that BREED of animal, but the specific one.

From what I can find, no one has ever been able to obtain such a letter from their insurance company -- because they don't want the potential federal lawsuit either.

This is why denying based on breed or your insurance company is a bad idea. Again, the FHEO has very specifically stated that a blanket breed restriction by an insurance company is NOT considered an unreasonable accommodation by itself. You need more than that. And your insurance company very likely won't give it.

So, the lawyers are right about being able to deny "under certain limited circumstances such as an undue financial burden on the landlord" -- but, in general, a blanket statement from your insurance company that they don't allow particular breeds does not meet that requirement.

- John...


support animal (by Tim [CA]) Posted on: Jul 12, 2019 6:15 PM

Trouble is, that firm is in Missouri. He doesn't appear to practice in California.

California's laws (there's more than one) parallel but go well beyond the FHA. Example: It is not necessary to prove intent in California.

Using a form from an attorney in another state can backfire here. It doesn't deal with the nuances in California case law.

support animal (by JKJ [MA]) Posted on: Jul 13, 2019 9:30 PM

To reiterate what John has said, from what I have read, IF you could get a letter from your insurance company saying they will cancel or substantially increase your rates due to that SPECIFIC ANIMAL, (you need to let them know it’s an ESA/SA) then HUD will investigate the insurance company for discrimination.

support animal (by Tim [CA]) Posted on: Jul 13, 2019 11:00 PM

And since Dino is is California, they are unlikely to want to tangle with DFEH either. HUD and DFEH file complaints with each other.

support animal (by dino [CA]) Posted on: Jul 14, 2019 12:00 AM

The issue of certain breeds is probably not going to come up for me, I was just curious about whether insurance could be a factor.

However, I have to disagree with the concept of discrimination by insurance companies being unlawful.

Bad drivers pay more for insurance.

People in risky professions pay more for insurance.

Old people pay more for life insurance.

Let's not forget the fact that we would all legally and morally deny an applicant that had a history of three evictions combined with zero income and zero assets.

All of the above are examples of legitimate, lawful discrimination.

Any person at a federal agency would be foolish and mentally unsound if they thought they could claim it was improper to increase premiums or deny insurance when a tenant wanted to operate a poisonous snake farm inside his apartment. Obviously, this is an absurd and extreme example. The point is that if the risk is higher, it is a legitimate business decision for the insurance company.

support animal (by Tim [CA]) Posted on: Jul 14, 2019 10:39 AM

Respectfully, those examples have nothing to do with an ESA.

support animal (by dino [CA]) Posted on: Jul 14, 2019 12:35 PM

Tim, my point is that breeds of dogs are not protected classes, like people. An insurance company can make the decision to raise premiums for these cases if they choose for a higher risk.

As I started out by saying above, there are other pitfalls in certain states such as where we live, but as long as those issues are not problems, it really does not matter whether an ESA is involved or not. There is no federal law denying insurance companies from making business decisions based on a legitimate facts concerning a particular dog.

My original question was whether an increase in premium was considered an undue financial burden. Apparently, the feds accept that it is from the above responses.

The logical extension of what others are saying above is that they believe some tenant would claim that they require a dangerous animal for emotional support and that such a claim would be ruled legitimate. I expect that claim would be laughed out of court.

support animal (by Tim [CA]) Posted on: Jul 14, 2019 3:21 PM

Since you are in California, the real issue is California case law. Not HUD.

You mentioned breed, not a specific dog. If your insurer can prove to a fact finder that this specific dog is a threat,this is another issue. Question is, are they going to go to that much trouble and expense.

A really brief excerpt,From the Fair Employment and Housing Council's Fair Housing Regulations,addressing insurance:

(m) “Discriminatory housing practice” means an act that is unlawful under federal or state fair

housing law, including housing-related violations of the Fair Employment and Housing Act, the

federal Fair Housing Act, the Unruh Civil Rights Act, the Ralph Civil Rights Act, the Disabled

Persons Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

(n) “Dwelling unit” means a single unit of a housing accommodation for a family or one or more


(o) “Financial assistance” includes the making or purchasing of loans, grants or the provision of

other financial assistance relating to the purchase, organization, development, construction,

improvement, repair, maintenance, rental, leasing, occupancy, or insurance of dwellings or

which are secured by residential real estate, including:

(1) Mortgages, reverse mortgages, home equity loans, and other loans secured by

residential real estate;

(2) Insurance and underwriting related to residential real estate, including construction

insurance, property insurance, liability insurance, homeowner’s insurance, and renter’s


support animal (by dino [CA]) Posted on: Jul 14, 2019 3:58 PM

No prohibition in the excerpt above regarding their underwriting practices since no protected class, simply a rational business decision.

Again, I don't expect to ever deal with this specific issue but for the fun of the debate, practically speaking, if I receive a notice of an increase in premium from my insurance company after I have informed them of the issue, I have all I need.

If someone wants to pursue the issue in court, only then would the issue of the insurance company practice come into play.

Insurance company does not need to go to any trouble or expense to send me the premium notice or inform me that I will not be covered. I will have acted in good faith and within the law. Problem is that of the insurance company.

Again, what lawyer with suffer the humiliation of trying to argue that the only comfort animal a tenant can use has to be a dangerous animal? This would be a popular topic for every late-night comedian on TV. The lawyer would be a joke. Any judge sided with that view would be a joke. The consequences of such a situation would create a nightmare. Could never happen.

support animal (by Tim [CA]) Posted on: Jul 14, 2019 6:59 PM

People do pursue this in court. So does the state; third parties can litigate this as well.

If you want to deny an ESA because it is a Rottweiler, you are denying an accommodation. That can be a very expensive place to be in California. There is no lack of case law on this.

The Rottweiler is not the protected class. The pain in the rear tenant is.

If you are arguing you will not allow that Rottweiler as an ESA because that specific animal is dangerous, then the entire burden of proof is on you. The tenant does not have to prove it is dangerous - you do.

It's the insurance companies fault? They have a blanket prohibition or will raise my rates because I allowed a Rottweiler ESA?

Since the insurance company is essentially subject to the same law as you,what are the odds they will actually provide you with evidence they violated the law?

support animal (by dino [CA]) Posted on: Jul 15, 2019 2:17 AM


Go back and read my earlier posts. You are missing the point. I would never deny because of breed, I never said any such thing. I said I would deny if my insurance was increased big-time or if my insurance was unwilling to insure me because of a dangerous animal. That is their decision, not mine. I also never said that the insurance company would do any of those things. I asked IF IF IF the insurance did so, would that be considered undue financial burden. Others above provided info that it would be.

There is no burden of proof on me whatsoever with regard to the danger of the animal. That is not my claim. My claim is that of undue financial burden IF the insurance company hypothetically acts to impact me in a negative way. Undue financial burden is where you'll find the case law. I don't think there is any case law in support of tenant fraud or perjury.

The one thing I did say is that an insurance company has a right to adjust their rates based on the risk in this situation. Such is lawful discrimination. You are not correct; it is not a violation of the law for them to adjust their rates based on risk. That is the entire purpose of the provision of law that provides an exception in the case of undue financial burden. That's why that exception is in there. If as you say, the law also applies to the insurance company, then so does undue financial burden.

But let's get to the heart of the matter. No fraudulent tenant or government agency is going to want to bring to the light of day the facts on this type of issue. Is that tenant going to cooperate with litigation when they fabricated a need for an emotional support pitbull. Is that tenant going to be of any help to a government agency when the tenant obtained their "need" from some online fraud outfit. Is that tenant going to commit perjury, forgery, fraud , and who knows what else or just go away.

It doesn't matter whether the attorney is representing the tenant, the government, or some third party. This type of case is a loser for the government and an embarrassment for the attorney,and they would know it. They don't want to pursue a case where they are wrong. Even the politicians and bureaucrats across the country that originally supported these laws know this issue is a hotbed of fraud and so do you. These laws were irrationally designed to encourage fraud and the tenants that do so do not have the legal system to back them up when their bluff is called.

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