November 2015 Coach's Quiz
In Part 2, we’ve given you seven more Dos & Don’ts for handling requests for assistance animals. Now let’s look at how the rules might apply in the real world. Take the Coach’s Quiz to see what you have learned.
INSTRUCTIONS: Each of the following questions has only one correct answer. On a separate piece of paper, write down the number of each question, followed by the answer you think is correct—for example, (1) b, (2) a, and so on. The correct answers (with explanations) follow the quiz. Good luck!
Our community allows pets, as long as they’re 25 pounds or less. A resident requests a reasonable accommodation to keep his large dog as an assistance animal and submits documentation to show that he has a disability and that the dog provides emotional support to alleviate the symptoms of his disability. Although his dog is larger than allowed under our pet policy, we could face a discrimination claim if we deny his request to keep it. True or false?
Our community allows pets, but we don’t allow pit bulls and certain other dog breeds that we consider to be dangerous. Despite the policy, we must consider a reasonable accommodation request from an applicant who says she’s disabled and needs her pit bull as an assistance animal. True or false?
We can require all applicants who have animals to pay any extra fees or additional security deposit to cover any potential property damage the animal may cause. True or false?
COACH’S ANSWERS & EXPLANATIONS
Correct answer: a
Reason: Rule #1 applies here:
DO Consider Requests for Exceptions to Pet Policies for Assistance Animals
DON’T Reject Animals Otherwise Excluded Under Pet Policies
Even though your policies limit pets to 25 pounds or less, you must consider making an exception to the policy to allow the resident to keep his larger dog as an assistance animal. HUD says that weight limits in pet policies don’t apply to assistance animals. Since he has provided documentation to show that he has a disability and a disability-related need to keep the dog, you could face a fair housing complaint for denying his reasonable accommodation request.
Correct answer: a
Reason: Rule #2 applies here.
DO Consider Requests for Exception to Breed Restrictions
DON’T Automatically Reject Assistance Animal Based on Breed
You must consider the applicant’s request for a reasonable accommodation to keep her pit bull as an assistance animal. Many communities have policies restricting certain dog breeds, most notably pit bulls, but HUD says that breed restrictions don’t apply to assistance animals. To comply with fair housing law, you must assess whether the particular animal in question poses a direct threat; otherwise, you may be accused of denying a reasonable accommodation by excluding an assistance animal based on its breed.
Correct answer: b
Reason: Rule #5 applies here:
DO Waive Pet Deposits for Assistance Animals
DON’T Impose Extra Conditions or Fees for Assistance Animals
Regardless of your general policy for pet owners, HUD says that you can’t impose extra conditions, such as payment of a pet deposit or extra monthly pet fee, as a condition of allowing an individual with a disability to keep an assistance animal. If a resident’s assistance animal causes damage to his unit or the common areas, however, HUD says that you may charge him for the cost of repairing the damage (or deduct it from the standard security deposit imposed on all residents) if you have a policy to assess residents for any damage that they cause to the premises.
See The Lesson For This Quiz
|Dos & Don'ts When Handling Requests for Assistance Animals, Part 2