Did you know there are over 500,000 service dogs in the United States?
With so many support animals out there, you may be curious as to where these animals all live. If you are part of an HOA community, you could also wonder if assistance animals are even allowed to live in your Colorado Springs neighborhood.
This guide goes over some of the biggest factors with HOA policies on this subject.
Types of Support Animals
In general, there are two main types of support animals you should be aware of. These are service animals and emotional support animals.
The former is typically trained to do specific tasks for an owner. This is usually because the owner has a disability that severely limits their ability to do these tasks on their own.
An example can be if an owner is blind. In this situation, a service animal may get trained to do tasks like a guide dog. They could be their eyes and point their blind owner in the right direction.
Then, there are emotional support animals. These types of animals slightly differ from the above because they do not require formal training. Instead, emotional support animals only need verification from a doctor or a vet that they have this role for their owner.
It also differs because these types of animals do not need to be as present with daily tasks. Instead, they are meant to help improve the mental health of the owner who has them.
An example can be someone who feels lonely and manically depressed. As a result, a doctor may recommend this person acquire an emotional support animal to offer the companionship they need right now.
Fair Housing Act
The Fair Housing Act plays a large role in the legality of these types of animals. That's because it has clear written language about the rights these pet owners have for these animals.
According to this act, these pet owners cannot be denied housing due to ownership of these pets. This is even the case if there are already clear HOA rules against pets.
If an animal has the proper certification or medical note, they have the right to be exempt from HOA policies about pets. This includes any extra fees charged for pets as well as rules prohibiting pets in general.
The only way these pet owners can be denied housing is if having the pet creates a true hardship for the landlord or other residents. An example can be if multiple nearby residents are deathly allergic to the animal.
Learn More About Support Animals
If you are part of an HOA, you are likely to run into people with support animals at some point. Know what their rights are and prepare to accommodate them if someone wants to bring this type of animal into your community.
For more help with these issues, you should speak to Colorado Casa PMI. We have been in the property management industry for over 20 years and pride ourselves on our excellent customer service.
Message us here to learn more about this in Colorado Springs, CO.