HUD Guidance on Assistance Animals

Good read for an update on service vs assistance animals from HUD.

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Clicking through the press release gets a 19 page pdf of the actual policy. My first read before 6am is that it will be beneficial to housing providers.

Anyone else?

The actual release is attached. I agree this will be beneficial to housing providers and residents with real assistance needs.

I plan to put this in our SOPs in a slightly more digestible format.

HUDAsstAnimalNC1-28-2020 (1).pdf (325.2 KB)

Im seeing this well intended law abused by residents on a regular basis now! Disgusting!

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JAY-E, the guidance actually mentions websites that that sell cheap letters or poorly trained animals. I think it will make our lives a little easier.

Tell me you need an accommodation? OK, but I can ask to meet the dog and what tasks he performs, without asking about the disability (still illegal). Untrained or poor behavior? I’m more comfortable saying ‘no, thanks.’

Maybe this policy is the beginning of the pendulum swinging back the other way, or at least better definitions for the armchair lawyers who want to abuse the law.

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Here’s what we recommend with all tenant claims for assistance / emotional support animal waivers:

  1. Have them sign an affirmation the dog is safe and is a medical necessity / Forms
  2. Have them provide a note from a medical professional, dated within a year, that states the animal is a medical necessity, and
  3. Have them provide a note from a Vet, dated within a year, that the animal is up to date on its shots


Careful. Legal therapy pets still count. Many people suffer with “invisible” disabilities of mental health, and by law do not have to disclose what their disability is. Actually, you are not allowed to ask the details of the accommodation. So by you requiring it to be a “service animal” might you up for discrimination charges. I work in mental health, and have clients who have bona fide therapist sanctioned therapy pets.