Housing with a Service Dog (Off Leash)

People with disabilities who use service animals cannot be isolated from other patrons, treated less favorably than other patrons, or charged fees that are not charged to other patrons without animals. In addition, if a business requires a deposit or fee to be paid by patrons with pets, it must waive the charge for service animals. Basically, Service Dogs are medical equipment and are compared to items such as wheelchairs or oxygen tanks. The disabled person cannot be told that the Service Dog is not welcome, because it is not a pet; it is medical equipment.

A housing provider is not allowed to inquire about the nature and severity of an individual’s disability unless the tenant requests a reasonable accommodation or modification. In response to a request for a reasonable modification, a housing provider may request reliable disability-related information that is necessary to verify that the person meets the Act’s definition of disability (has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities), describes the needed modification, and shows the relationship between the person’s disability and the need for the requested modification. If a person needs a Service Dog for a disability, then the housing provider must allow the tenant to have the Service Dog in the apartment/house free of charge regardless if the complex/house has a “no pets” policy.

Any person or entity engaging in prohibited conduct, such as refusing to allow an individual to make reasonable modifications when such modifications may be necessary to afford a person with a disability full enjoyment of the premises, may be held liable unless they fall within an exception to the Act’s coverage. 

I personally have trained Nox to assist me with my medical needs off leash. Yes, 99.9% of the time, he is on a leash, either a digital collar, or a tether, however since I have task-trained him to work off leash, per the ADA this is acceptable. My dog knows to obey my commands, to be well mannered and respectful as 
well as do his job.

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