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Thread: I'm disabled!

  1. #1
    Suspended Andy's Avatar
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    I'm disabled!

    You gotta wonder sometimes. I have an ad to rent one of my apartments and it seems I'm dredging up the stuff that no one will rent to as it is the end of the season. Unfortunately the gubment around here says I have to entertain all comers so I gotta play the game. I get a call from what sounds like Pat from the Saturday Night Live skit, and hear a sob story of bad prior landlord who then sells the building to a developer who then gives a 30 day notice to get out and they need a place NOW. Alarm bells going off already. So I go through my list of questions that hopefully will get rid of the headache. Pets? Yep...there's the ticket, right? But then they become service animals, one of which is a service cat. Yeah, scratching my head on that one, but cant deny on that now that Fluffy is a service cat. The caller goes on how he and his wife are both disabled, and their 2 kids are disabled also. At this point I'm WTF? I then ask the monthly income question, and thankfully they were short of the standard 3X rent filter. I tell the "guy" that sorry, I have a screening limit of income being 3X rent, and he is playing dumb at that point like he never heard that before. We go back and forth and he hits me with the accusation of "it sounds like you are discriminating on source of income". At that point I tell him again, not being friendly anymore, what he claimed as monthly income, 3X the rent is this amount, and he is $300 short. And making accusations will not get him any further. Thankfully he finally figured he was barking up the wrong tree and said thank you and hung up.

    I gotta wonder about all these "disabled" and how a whole f'in family can be disabled, with cats as service animals. And they are so in your face about it. Makes you really want to go there in person and show them disabled and tell them what rejects they are for pulling the disabled card.

    I'm sort of thinking no wonder real disabled housing can be hard to come by with slime like this making the rounds. Really turns you off to anything that might be 'disabled', and I'm in a wheelchair myself. Yuck

  2. #2
    Senior Member Domosoyo's Avatar
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    LOL what the hell is a cat going to do?! I'm sorry I about spit my Guiness out over that.
    Seriously some messed up slime right there.
    (BTW, I was served a beer by the inspiration for Pat in Chicago about 11 years ago. I saw why this person was the inspiration for Julia Sweeney and Chris Farley for the skit.)

  3. #3
    Pat is real? That's kind of delightful.

    I run a little home business renting wheelchair vans. More frequently than you'd like to imagine, callers ask me if they get a discount because...wait for it...they're in a wheelchair.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    ...service animals, one of which is a service cat. Yeah, scratching my head on that one...
    Oh, I wouldn't be so sure.

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  5. #5
    Senior Member ~Lin's Avatar
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    There is no such thing as a service cat. The federal legal definition of service animal defines it must be a dog. However, this is such thing as a cat thats an emotional support animal, and no pet housing cannot refuse to permit an ESA. ESA's have no required training (while service dogs do) but must be a part of the psychiatric treatment plan by a qualified care provider. So if someone states they have an ESA, you may request a letter from their treating physician stating it. This doesn't rule out someone that has a shady Dr who doesn't give a shit may write a letter for them, but it helps rule out some crackpots. And when it comes to service animals, not knowing the laws are a pretty big red flag and I wouldn't rent to someone who didn't understand the law, because if you asked the questions you're allowed to ask and didn't get reasonable answers you have your defense if it goes to court. And its pretty unlikely a liar/faker is going to take it to court. As a landlord, you may ask what type of service dog the animal is and what tasks it performs for the disabled handler. You may not request any paperwork as proof of status of a service animal. You may not charge a pet fee on a service dog, however the animal being a service animal doesn't take away responsibility of the owner to pay for any damage caused by the animal. Just as being a wheelchair user doesn't mean if we ruin the doorways or walls the landlord can't keep the security deposit to cover the repairs. Specifics about both SDs and ESAs are covered under the Fair Housing Act.

    All protection for disabilities falls under reasonable accommodation. So someone requesting to have a service dog in non pet housing must make reasonable requests. Getting a service animal without notifying the landlord is not reasonable. Notifying the landlord prior to renting a place that they have a service dog is reasonable. Notifying the landlord in writing that they will be acquiring a service animal on x date is reasonable.

    If anyone ever has service dog questions feel free to ask me. I'm a member of an advocacy and education service animal group, have been a service dog handler (she passed away unexpectedly in december) and was a building manager. I focus on education of both sides for everything to go as smooth as possible. I had a boarding house I was managing when a couple contacted me that they had 2 service dogs. Every answer to my question was shady. I had only just become the manager, and the previous manager talked the landlord into allowing them to move in anyway. They were pretty shocked to meet me as the manager who ACTUALLY was a service dog handler. I heard some awful stuff from that couple, like they'd purchased fake service dog certificates online because their dogs were pit bulls and they tried to fake as service dogs to get around breed bans. They claimed they had no idea it was illegal to fake a service dog. Some states consider this fraud and the person can end up with jail time in addition to fines and eviction. They even took their dogs in grocery stores, where it is against health code for non service animals to be, and their dog pooped on the floor. A service dog will not eliminate inside a store or house unless its an emergency, and if that happens the handler is of course responsible to clean up and handle the situation. If a dog is filthy, eliminates indoor, or is a disturbance (such as barking) their status as a service dog is irrelevant, they may be asked to leave.

    Federal definition of service animal as of the ADA reformation act of 2008, put into law as of March 2011
    Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person?s disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.

    This definition does not affect or limit the broader definition of ?assistance animal? under the Fair Housing Act or the broader definition of ?service animal? under the Air Carrier Access Act.
    http://www.ada.gov/service_animals_2010.htm
    Last edited by ~Lin; 09-17-2014 at 09:53 PM. Reason: important typo
    Board Member of Assistance Dog Advocacy Project working in Education. Feel free to ask me any service dog questions!

    I am not paralyzed. I have a genetic connective tissue disorder with neuro complications and a movement disorder.

  6. #6
    Actually under the ADA, both dogs and miniature horses can be considered service animals...but not cats, pigs, monkeys, apes, hamsters, etc. etc. The narrower definition of dogs only does apply for housing accommodation though.

    Sounds like you dodged a bullet on these tenants. Bet they are scamming on more than just claiming non-existent disabilities...

    (KLD)

  7. #7
    Senior Member ~Lin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
    Actually under the ADA, both dogs and miniature horses can be considered service animals...but not cats, pigs, monkeys, apes, hamsters, etc. etc. The narrower definition of dogs only does apply for housing accommodation though.
    Thats incorrect. Under the ADA reformation act of 2008 which was put into place March 15th 2011, service animal is defined by dog. There is some grandfathering in for miniature horses on a case by case basis that were in use prior to March 15th 2011, but they are no longer classified as service animals. There is information about them on the link I posted earlier, I'm posting it again below.
    http://www.ada.gov/service_animals_2010.htm
    Beginning on March 15, 2011, only dogs are recognized as service animals under titles II and III of the ADA.

    Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.
    In addition to the provisions about service dogs, the Department’s revised ADA regulations have a new, separate provision about miniature horses that have been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. (Miniature horses generally range in height from 24 inches to 34 inches measured to the shoulders and generally weigh between 70 and 100 pounds.) Entities covered by the ADA must modify their policies to permit miniature horses where reasonable. The regulations set out four assessment factors to assist entities in determining whether miniature horses can be accommodated in their facility. The assessment factors are (1) whether the miniature horse is housebroken; (2) whether the miniature horse is under the owner’s control; (3) whether the facility can accommodate the miniature horse’s type, size, and weight; and (4) whether the miniature horse’s presence will not compromise legitimate safety requirements necessary for safe operation of the facility.
    Service animals are handled but the DOJ. Any questions about service animals under titles II and III of the ADA can also be handled by calling the DOJ helpline at
    800-514-0301 (v)
    800-514-0383 (TTY)
    Board Member of Assistance Dog Advocacy Project working in Education. Feel free to ask me any service dog questions!

    I am not paralyzed. I have a genetic connective tissue disorder with neuro complications and a movement disorder.

  8. #8
    Suspended Andy's Avatar
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    Apes...lol.

    Yeah, I think after the first sentence I smelled bad news from the sound of the voice. Just think, 30 miles south and I could tell 90% of the knuckleheads calling to pound sand, but I gotta follow large complex rules around here. Sucks.

  9. #9
    Monkeys aren't considered service animals? What about all those Capuchin critters people use to use?

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by baldfatdad View Post
    Monkeys aren't considered service animals? What about all those Capuchin critters people use to use?
    They still exist and are still being trained, but cannot be used outside of your home, so really only an option for those who are truely "homebound", and they currently have no protection for use as a service animal in the community...so you can't take them with you into a restaurant or other business, on the plane/train/bus with you, etc. as you can a service dog.

    (KLD)

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