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Your Rights as a Renter with a Service Animal

Disabled Lebanon Renter in Wheelchair with Service DogIf you are a Lebanon renter and have a service or emotional support animal, knowing what your rights are is crucial. A huge number of renters are uninformed that they can keep a service or emotional support animal in their rental homes regardless of the property owner’s rules. This blog post will explain the laws that protect renters who have service or emotional support animals. We will also offer tips on communicating with your property owner if there is an issue with keeping your service or emotional support animal in your home.

What is a service or emotional support animal, and what rights do you have under the law?

Service animals are defined as animals trained to perform tasks for those with disabilities. These tasks can include but are not limited to guiding people who are blind, notifying people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and safeguarding a person who is having a seizure, or comforting a person with post-traumatic stress disorder.

An emotional support animal does not have to be trained to perform a specific service to provide benefits to its owners. Numerous companion animals can qualify as emotional support animals if you have a letter from your medical provider or therapist demonstrating that you need the animal.

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), service animals are legal in public places, including rental homes. Emotional support animals are not protected under the ADA but are allowed in rental homes, even if a landlord has a “no pet” policy. Service and emotional support animals are not considered pets under the law, and therefore, property owners cannot charge pet fees or deposits for them.

How to handle deposits, fees, and other costs associated with having a service or emotional support animal.

If you have a service or emotional support animal, you are not forced to pay any pet fees or deposits. Yet, you may be held accountable for damages caused by your animal. For example, if your animal chews on furniture or urinates on the flooring, or if you neglected to pick up the animal’s waste, you will probably be charged for those repairs. It is best to have a conversation with your property owner about your service or emotional support animal before signing a lease. This will help lessen misunderstandings about your rights and responsibilities as a renter.

Other landlords may prefer that you show proof of insurance for your service or emotional support animal. This is not obligated by law, but it is something you should be prepared to address with your Lebanon property manager.

What to do if your landlord tries to evict you for having a service or emotional support animal.

Assuming your landlord seeks to evict you (or refuses to rent to you) for having a service or emotional support animal, you may have grounds to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The department’s Civil Rights Division enforces the Fair Housing Act, which discourages discrimination in housing based on disability.

You can also file a complaint with your state’s attorney general’s office or the human rights commission. These agencies may analyze your complaint and take legal action against your landlord if they find that you have been discriminated against.

If you experience eviction due to your service or emotional support animal, it is essential to seek legal help right away. An experienced attorney can assist you with knowing your rights and options under the law.

Resources for further information on renters’ rights and service or emotional support animals.

For more information on your rights as a renter, you can communicate with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD enforces the Fair Housing Act and can investigate complaints of discrimination in housing.

You can also acquire further information on service and emotional support animals at the ADA National Network website. The ADA National Network is an asset for information and technical emotional support on the Americans with Disabilities Act.


You and your service or emotional support animal may dwell comfortably in your rental home by recognizing your rights. But if your landlord is got in the way of your rights, it might be time to move to a place managed by professionals who respect and follow the law. Browse our listings for service animal-friendly rental homes in your area.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.

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