Is it against the law to deny service animals in rental property?

UPDATED: Jul 29, 2019

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Is it against the law to deny service animals in rental property?

I have 2 vacation cabin rentals and do not allow pets.

Asked on July 29, 2019 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it is against the law, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act and also HUD regulations. You are allowed to request validation from a physician (or for emotional support animals, psychiatrist) that the renter has an diagnosed issue or condition which is alleviated or mitigated by the animal (i.e. you don't have to take the renter's word at face value), but if verification is provided, you must let them have the animal. If not, you could face considerable liability.
But you are allowed also to push back against inappropriate animals--no therapy wild boars or wolverenes, to use an obviously exagerated but illustrative example.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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