More than 4.28 million people own support animals that help them with a range of issues, including mental health and physical ailments. While most places have clauses that make an exception for people to bring their emotional support pets with them, this isn't always the case with living arrangements.
If you're a property manager, it's your job to make reasonable tenant accommodations, but that doesn't mean you have to waiver and allow tenants to have pets. If you're truly looking to be an inclusive property manager, it's understandable that you're trying to determine whether you
should allow tenant requests for support animals.
Read on below for a brief guide to help you make your final decision.
You Need Medical Proof
If a tenant truly needs a support animal and otherwise has a satisfactory rental history, why wouldn't you allow them to have support animals? However, some people, unfortunately, do try to pull one over on their landlords, which means if you choose to allow it, you need to have proof from the tenants that they need the pet.
This will be a letter from a medical professional listing the need for the support animal. It's best to receive a letter that has been signed by a physician. This is because it's not legal to place a call to a tenant's primary doctor because of confidentiality laws and policies in place.
They Aren't Pets
When you see someone with emotional support animals, it's easy to think that it's just another pet. However, that's not the case; emotional support animals aren't pets.
They are working animals, and when you see them, they have signs that request people not to pet them. The purpose of these animals is to help care for their owners.
Therefore, they need to be focused on the job they are tasked with doing. Depending on the laws in your state, if a person can provide proof, it's reasonable to move forward with making the tenant's accommodations.
Insurance Goes Up
While making the accommodation would make since one thing that will increase is your insurance premium. Mainly because depending on the breed and type of animal, there are chances that accidents may occur on your property.
When the tenant moves out, you will have to update and complete maintenance repairs to the property. You also want to ensure you're covered in the event that the animals react against someone else for whatever reason.
Depending on your insurance, you may face a price increase or be dropped from the policy altogether.
Emotional Support Animals: Should You Allow Them?
When it comes to emotional support animals, you don't have to allow them. However, when a medical professional provides proof, you can reconsider.
But be aware that your insurance coverage and several other factors may increase. Contact Wilkinson Property Management for more help today and start being the property manager you want to be.