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Landlord wants to refuse us a service dog

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Member Since
02/24/2013
 
 
Barked: Sun Feb 24, '13 5:42pm PST 
Post edited.

Edited by author Wed Mar 6, '13 4:53am PST

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Scooter

Work hard; Play- harder.
 
 
Barked: Sun Feb 24, '13 7:06pm PST 
The big question is if the Fair House Act even applies in this situation. It only applies if the landlord owns more than a certain number of rental properties (believe it is 4+) or uses a realtor or management comapny.

If it is a landlord with only a couple of rental properties, then it doesn't apply and they can set any animal restrictions they want.
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Ginger DSA- ThD TT CGC - &hearts

My Angel
 
 
Barked: Sun Feb 24, '13 8:19pm PST 
Scooter, from the link they posted it seems their state has a law about service dogs in housing, separate from the FHA, and it doesn't look like they require a certain number of rental units for it, from what I read in the link. However the law seems like it might only apply to service dogs trained by schools, and not people training their own service dogs.

I have no experience with this guest, but from what I read in your link it seems that IF your dog meets the requirements under your state's law, it says you should have a right to rental housing with a service dog, without limitations like a fee or anything, however you are responsible for all damages.
The law listed does mention dogs trained by schools, is your dog being trained by a school? Other people here might be able to help you interprets the law better, but to me it seems like it might be worded in a way so it only applies if your dog was trained by a service dog schools.
If you consulted your lawyer personally I'd wait for their response, before contacting the landlord again.

You should also make sure to read the other info in the state law about service dogs. If anyone can correct me if I'm wrong but I believe if you want to take advantage of the state law protections, you need to make sure you are in compliance with other requirements of the state law for service dogs, such as identification, the law mentions dogs needing to be identified and if you are training it mentions having some type of credentials from a school?

Edited by author Sun Feb 24, '13 8:34pm PST

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Ginger DSA- ThD TT CGC - &hearts

My Angel
 
 
Barked: Sun Feb 24, '13 8:36pm PST 
I forgot to add, what I mentioned above is for the state law you linked to,while what Scooter mentioned applies to the FHA. So if your rental is covered under the FHA then the requirements I mentioned in my post are not relevant.

Edited by author Sun Feb 24, '13 8:38pm PST

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Isaac

1278829
 
 
Barked: Mon Feb 25, '13 3:35am PST 
I would start by sending the landlord a certified letter, requesting a reasonable accommodation, and quoting the relevant state law.

I just wanted to mention, it sounds like you are hoping to train one dog to be a service dog for two kids? It's really hard, if not impossible, for a dog to be a service dog for two people. Have you talked to a professional trainer about this plan?
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Member Since
02/24/2013
 
 
Barked: Mon Feb 25, '13 6:12am PST 
Hi guys. Thanks for your responses. I can't remember the exact link to where I read it, but it said that the laws apply to a private owner of single family residences IF he owns more than one single family unit that he rents out. And our landlord does.

In regards to training, we have talked with multiple trainers to get pricing and also to discuss what we are looking for. Because one child has a hearing impairment and one has cerebral palsy, the needs would be different and probably not be required to be used at the same time. But I don't know that. However, no trainer has given us any inclination of this being an impossible task. I appreciate your input on that matter, though, as it is something to consider.

I do believe the FHA as well as the GA law applies to us based on the research I have done. We are waiting to hear back from the lawyer, but I am just so mad about the way he has handled things, I felt like I needed more personal opinions. smile
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Member Since
02/24/2013
 
 
Barked: Mon Feb 25, '13 6:18am PST 
Just so you guys know where I saw this.....

Under specific exceptions to the Fair Housing Act, the reasonable
accommodation requirements of the Act do not apply to a private individual owner who sells his
own home so long as he (1) does not own more than three single-family homes; (2) does not use
a real estate agent and does not employ any discriminatory advertising or notices; (3) has not
engaged in a similar sale of a home within a 24-month period; and (4) is not in the business of
selling or renting dwellings. The reasonable accommodation requirements of the Fair Housing
Act also do not apply to owner-occupied buildings that have four or fewer dwelling units.

http://www.hud.gov/offices/fheo/library/huddojstatement.pd f

I am not 100% sure of the exact number, but I know he owns at LEAST 3 single family homes, and he does rent out several of them, so I would believe that puts him in the business of selling or renting. Unless that applies to real estate agents, which I think it should be stated as such. You can be in the business of renting out homes without being a realtor or agent. Maybe this makes it more clear as to whether we fall under FHA or not.

But I still believe we fall under GA law because we will have the dog trained by a school.
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Ezra

1241819
 
 
Barked: Mon Feb 25, '13 6:30am PST 
What sort of references do the trainers you have talked to have? How old are your kids? All the service dogs I've ever encountered spend all their time with their one person. How will it work if both kids need the service dog to do something at the same time? What happens when they go to school (I'm just guessing that they're not school aged yet)?

It sounds like you are planning on having a dog trained by a program, but it will be living with you while it is still in training? To me that is a Huge red flag. Schools don't know a dog will pass until it does. What happens if the dog washes out and you and your kids have already bonded with it? Even great schools with excellent specific breeding programs and puppy raisers have a pretty high rate of wash outs. It also strikes me as a Huge red flag that none of the trainers you have talked to thought it a problem to have one dog acting as a service dog for two different people.

I'd hate for you to get scammed out of money and it really sounds like the people you've talked to might not be being honest, or might not know a lot about service dogs. Hopefully somebody else from Georgia will pop in and have some advice to give around reputable programs.
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Isaac

1278829
 
 
Barked: Mon Feb 25, '13 9:59am PST 
So you've found a program that is agreeing to train a dog for two people? That's really unusual, so I would just make sure you check their references carefully.

I understand your kids both have different needs, but I'm not sure why they would not both need the assistance of the service dog at the same time. I'm not sure exactly what tasks a service dog might do for your child with cerebral palsy, but if it's things like helping with mobility, why wouldn't it be possible for that child to need help getting up or walking or whatever at the same time the door bell or phone rang or something that the other child needed to be alerted to? Do the kids always go every place together? Are they in the same class at school?

In addition, even if they don't both need the dog at the same times, I think it's important to consider the work load working for two people would put on a dog. Will the dog be expected to do twice as much work as a service dog usually does? I'm thinking that would be too much stress for most dogs and your dog may burn out and become unable to work very soon.
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Crazy Sadie- Lady

Im a SD and- proud of it so- there!!!!
 
 
Barked: Mon Feb 25, '13 10:27am PST 
OOOOOk I think I can help with this a lil bit! wave I am going to start with that I am in maine. And then I will tell you my Story:
I live in maine and in a small town that I first thought would be a first for them for me to get a SD. Come to find out; though I thought Maine was behind the times, I found out they knew what I needed. My Doctors wanted me to have a SD; they felt I was coming in to a part of my life I really did not need more meds, since I really was beginning to become physically ill form all the meds. I already had, and I was telling them this, Myself.
So having said all that I will tell you this; When I first came down to this town I was in a shelter. I met up with an old High school friend who ran a Pizza shop and in the this place were 3 apts.
Her husband also ran a store that was the same way, but in a different location in the town. Anyway I had recently lost a pet dog that was a family pet (she was old but developed a case of
Gastro problems they called twisted gut.) Being old the humane thing was to put her to sleep. About a year later my other family pet became ill. She allowed me to bring him down to see what was going on with him. He too was an old dog, I found to be a sad situation cause he had a stroke weeks later. I then put him to sleep cause I could ot bear watching him suffer. Very sad and trying to get myself together; I voiced this to my councellor and worker. My doctors felt not only the death of my pet was casing me health issues my physical ailments were degrading also. They finally conviced me that a dog would help. After I had mentioned many times how loosing my beloved pets were bring me down emotionally. I also mentioned that my Landlord being a good friend did not though allow pets. (and in her eyes) that meant any animal. This is after all; After I had gotten in to an apartment she was renting, and she had made commendations for me to take up rent there in the Pizza apt. house. She had already before told me that she could and would not allow animals in the place. Though there was a tenet that had a cat, and the cat was grandfathered in that lease since he was there before she had bought the unit.
I had agreed there, since my pets were already being cared for with other family. Now here is the sticky part After my doctors pretty much insisted I get a SD and I began researching about going down that root, "She" continued to say No to me.
She insisted that she would not allow me to have the dog cause she felt it would be a gloriafied pet. I was very ill at the time too. Cause my illnesses were progressing very steddly for the worse.
I had been hospitalized many times and at deaths door durring the corse of weeks in that year. I had gotten a rejection form the only program in the state near me. Then I found this site and looked in to trainers etc. I called and searched through animal shelters found a couple dogs that were good canidates.
My Landlord determinded that I was not going to get a dog told the shelters I could not have it here. I finally found my dog in the Uncle Henery's form a town I once lived in, and they brought her down to me. The man I called could not keep her cause his life was changing and he could not give her the time she needed. I told him why I was looking for a dog, and exsplained the type of dog I needed. He told me that Sadie was that dog and her breed was very smart; (cause I had been looking for just that breed.)
I found out that if I got a Dog and began training her for to be an SD the landlord had to make accomidations for it. All the laws and the housing program made it clear they were on my side. They were making accomidations for me to have the dog.
I even found programs to help me feed her and trainers that would donate time for helping me train her, and walkers that would walk her when I could not sitter etc. HER HUSBAND ALSO STOOD UP FOR ME! lol that was a surprise though he was not really happy he did so. The moral part of this is I did find it hard to do this cause this person was my friend but the doctors had insisted I needed the dog. It worked out well and now she loves the dog and if anyone even looks like they are going to make problems; she tells them where to go before I even get there lol! A landlord neighboring out back of this unit was causing a ruccuss about Sadie cause Sadie did not like him and he did not like her, and My Landlord told him to get off her area and stop parking near the dog cause she owned right where he was going. I guess the point is I was getting to is; Though I am in maine I am sure if this dog will be used as a SD that the ADA dose state that the Landlord has to make reasonable accomodations for one; They are fed. Laws and that over rides the state laws.

Edited by author Mon Feb 25, '13 11:01am PST

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