Our vendor, PetScreening.com has recently aligned their assistance animal accommodation review process with the new HUD Assistance Animal Notice (FHEO-2020-01). This affects applicants as it causes them to need to be more specific about the type of assistance animal they are claiming. The need for this additional information is a growth from the increasing number of claims of assistance animals by not only rental applicants but people in all types of situations. The requirement that a landlord may not charge deposits and additional rent for an assistance animal significantly increased the amount of applicants claiming their animal provided “comfort or assistance”.
Of course, we fully support the great companionship of animals. We also recognize there are some tremendous things animals can do for people with disabilities. The reason this issue came up is to create a more official method for clearly identifying what the animal provides in order to exclude it from normal pet policies.
Three Categories of Assistance Animal
This type of animal may be any typical household species. The applicant will be asked to upload documentation that substantiates their disability and need. Specifically from PetScreening.com:
Trained or untrained animals that do work, perform tasks, provide assistance, and/or provide therapeutic emotional support for individuals with disabilities. Support animals are commonly referred to as emotional support animals, companion animals, comfort animals, etc
This category primarily applies to dogs who are trained to perform and assist with an applicant and their disability. This does not include emotional support animals.
Any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not typically service animals unless the requestor substantiates the unique situation. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the individual’s disability such as guiding an individual who is blind or has low vision, pulling a wheelchair, etc. This does not include emotional support.
Note: For housing, any service animal type other than a dog may require a substantial burden by its owner to justify the animal’s unique circumstantial need.
A applicant with an observable disability and the need is apparent.
An observable profile is for individuals with readily observed impairments and need for an animal. Examples include blindness or low vision, deafness or being hard of hearing, mobility limitations, and other types of impairments with observable symptoms or effects.
WILMOTH looks forward to accommodating all applicants that have a need for a nice home for themselves and their assistance animals. The above categories will allow us to more quickly move forward with the applications when one of these types of animals are included!