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How to get sued for charging a pet fee

Jul 05, 2024

You know that Instagram-famous bulldog your tenant has?

The one with more followers than you?

Cute, right?

Now, what if your tenant hands you a note claiming that little star is an emotional support animal?

Before you go flipping through your lease, know this:

Emotional support animals and service animals aren't your run-of-the-mill pets.

They come with legal protections.

Now, we know what you're thinking.

"But what if the tenant's goldfish is now a service animal?"

Calm down memaw, the late showing of Matlock ain't over yet.

If a tenant has the paperwork to back it up,  you need to play ball.

Just make sure it's legit. A note from Dr. Doolittle doesn't count.

And remember:

Don't charge a pet deposit/fee for emotional support or service animals.

Keep it simple.

Keep it legal.

And keep yourself out of trouble.

By Landlord Legal

Woof woof, that's issue # of The Brief.

Service and ESA's can be a fair housing nightmare.  Snag our free cheat sheet here.

DISCLAIMER: Heads up - none of this is legal advice. We share stories and laughs about legal stuff for Landlords.  Do your own homework and stay safe out there!