COACH's Pop Quiz!
Q: Your community must consider a request for an assistance animal even if the resident doesn’t appear to be disabled. True or false?
A: True. If the resident has a qualifying disability and has a disability-related need for the animal, then you must grant the resident’s reasonable request to make an exception to your pet policies so he can have an assistance animal.
If the resident’s disability is not readily observable, then you may ask for reliable disability-related information that’s necessary to verify that the resident has a disability that qualifies under the Fair Housing Act—that is, a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities—and has a disability-related need for the animal.
The March 2017 lesson of Fair Housing Coach reviews the rules limiting when and how you can ask for disability-related information. In general, fair housing law forbids housing providers from asking applicants or residents for disability-related information, but exceptions can apply under certain circumstances when they request a reasonable accommodation, such as an assistance animal. For more information, see the Coach’s March 2017 lesson, “Avoid The 7 Biggest Mistakes When Verifying Disability,” available to our subscribers here.