45 Years of Impact Spotlight
Advocating For Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals in Housing
In 2014, a condominium owner with disabilities contacted DRP after the Condominium Association’s management instituted a registration requirement for service animals and applied it to the homeowner’s service animal which had been at the Premises for numerous years. The Association also instituted fines for non-compliance. DRP began correspondence and negotiations with the Management’s counsel. After an investigation and hearing with PHRC, the Management agreed to allow the homeowner to retain the service animal with no assessed fines.
In 2016, a homeowner with various disabilities contacted DRP when the Homeowners Association refused to allow the homeowner to keep her emotional support animal (ESA), stating that it violated the “no pet policy”. DRP instituted legal action in federal court and eventually negotiated a settlement allowing the homeowner to retain its ESA.
In 2016, an apartment lessee with a disability contacted DRP after the landlord denied Lessee’s request for a reasonable accommodation to have an ESA on the premises. The Landlord’s denial included requests for proofs, documents and certifications. DRP corresponded and negotiated with the landlord’s counsel, reviewing applicable laws and regulations. After an investigation and hearing with PHRC, the landlord agreed to allow Lessee to retain the ESA at the apartment.
In 2022, DRP was contacted by a Lessee in Cumberland County whose apartment manager alleged that the client violated the two-pet limit clause in the lease by possessing two pets and a service animal. The Manager stated that unless one animal was removed, the client and her family would be evicted. DRP contacted the Manager and explained that under the applicable law and regulations, the service animal is not considered a pet, and that therefore, the client’s two pets and service animal are compliant with the lease. The Manager retracted the violation and threat of eviction and approved the two pets and the service animal.