Rights to Assistive Animals for Disabled Tenants

I recently gave a seminar to Realtors and Investors on the difference between pets and assistive (service) animals. I wished to sensitize them to the real world financial risks of ignoring a disabled tenant’s (prospective or current) request for assistive animals.

As of April 2013 both the Fair Housing Act (FHA) & the Federal Housing Administration (HUD)  expanded the definition of service animals to apply its protective rules to ALL assistive/service animals – even emotional support and comfort animals.

Therefore, according to the Tenant Disability Rights under both FHA & HUD, persons with disabilities may now request a reasonable accommodation for any assistance animals, including an emotional support and comfort animal.

AND HERE IS WHAT YOU NEED TO REMEMBER:Assistive animals can range from a miniature horse to an iguana or monkey and the list of the various types of assistance animals keeps on growing;

  • While all pets may be animals NOT all animals are pets;
  • Assistive animals aren’t animals of choice, like a pet, but rather a necessity;
  • These animals are NOT legally required to have ANY special training, tags or certifications.


Any animal that assists a disabled person is a service animal. It doesn’t make a difference what service it provides.


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Posted by: marvinkatz on June 24, 2014