October 2015 Coach's Quiz
We have given you seven 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!
Federal fair housing law prohibits communities from having a pet policy. True or false?
Your community must consider a request for an assistance animal even if the resident doesn’t appear to be disabled. True or false?
Your community has a no-pet policy. Recently, you discovered that a resident has a cat in her unit, but she said that she’s disabled and it’s an emotional support animal. It seems as though she’s just trying to keep her pet cat, so you can enforce the lease to require her to remove the animal. True or false?
COACH’S ANSWERS & EXPLANATIONS
Correct answer: b
Reason: Rule #1 applies here:
DO Have a Policy on Pets
DON’T Use It to Keep Out Assistance Animals
Federal fair housing law doesn’t prohibit communities from adopting and enforcing pet policies. Your community may ban pets or limit the size, weight, number, or type of animals permitted and impose conditions, such as pet fees or deposits. In essence, you can set whatever pet policy you want—as long as you don’t use it to keep out assistance animals.
Assistance animals are not pets under fair housing law. They’re animals that work, provide assistance, or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability, or provide emotional support that alleviates one or more identified symptoms or effects of a person’s disability, according to HUD.
Correct answer: a
Reason: Rule #4 applies here:
DO Ask for Verification If Resident Doesn’t Appear to Be Disabled
DON’T Reject Request Because Resident Doesn’t Have Obvious Disability
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. Fair housing law defines “disability” to include a variety of physical and emotional impairments that may not be obvious or apparent to the housing provider.
If the resident’s disability isn’t readily observable, you may ask for reliable disability-related information that’s necessary to verify that the resident has a disability that qualifies under the FHA—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.
But be careful: You can’t ask the resident for information about what his disability is or what the animal does to assist him—only for confirmation that there is a disability and that the animal is needed because of that disability. And you can’t ask for access to his medical records or medical providers—or for detailed or extensive documentation about his physical or mental impairments.
Correct answer: b
Reason: Rules #2 & #5 apply here:
DO Treat Requests for Assistance Animals as Reasonable Accommodation Requests
DON’T Make Snap Decisions About Assistance Animals
DO Permit Emotional Support Animals
DON’T Allow Service Dogs But Exclude Other Assistance Animals
Anytime you get a request for an assistance animal, treat it as a request for a reasonable accommodation for an exception to your pet policies. The reasonable accommodation rules kick in anytime anyone says she needs or wants something—including an assistance animal—because of a disability.
Despite your suspicions, don’t dismiss the possibility that the resident may be entitled to keep the cat under fair housing law. Fair housing law is broad enough to permit an individual with a disability to have an assistance animal other than a dog, including an emotional support animal, if she has a disability-related need for the animal. The FHA recognizes that assistance animals may include a wide variety of species—not just dogs—that provide various forms of assistance—including emotional support—with or without specialized training.
See The Lesson For This Quiz
|Dos & Don'ts When Handling Requests for Assistance Animals, Part 1|