Assistance vs. Service Animals: Reasonable Accommodations & Compliance (AHAO73W)

  • Product Format
  • Pre Recorded Webinar
  • Presenter(s)
  • Jo Becker
  • Conference Date
  • Wednesday, August 30, 2017
  • Aired Time
  • 12:00 am ET - 11:00 pm CT - 10:00 pm MT - 9:00 pm PT
  • Length
  • 75 minutes

Accommodating Disability Assistance Animals Under the Fair Housing Act

According to HUD’s annual report, the number one basis for complaints filed in 2016 was related to disability protections – topping the 2nd highest protected class (race) by over 50% and accounting for 58% of all complaints, an 8.8% increase since 2012. Many of these complaints are specific to service and assistance animals, which must be accommodated in housing under the federal Fair Housing Act and Section 504.

It’s vital you’re informed and maintain compliance. You must be clear on a few things, such as how disability protection is different from service animal requirements of ADA, how to comply when multiple laws apply to you, the difference between several animal classifications, and more. You must also know who can make a reasonable accommodation request, legal reasons for denial, and how a staff's personal's behavior may harm compliance efforts.

Join this session with fair housing advocate and former housing provider, Jo Becker, who will cover the ins and outs of reasonable accommodations as it relates to assistance animals

in order to help you best serve the needs of your residents/prospects with disabilities. Dive into the nuances of accommodating disability-related assistance animals under the Fair Housing Act to ensure you’re in compliance with federal law. Jo will demystify the differences between service animals, assistance animals, pets, and other critter classifications. She will talk about when and how the request may be made as well as the verification process and who can do the verifying. Jo will also discuss what are “reasonable” and legal reasons for denying requests, along with the common mistakes that could land you in legal jeopardy.

Session Highlights

  • Definition of disability
  • Trio of disability protections
  • Fundamental principles of disability-related accommodation under the federal Fair Housing Act and Section 504, including
    • Residents /prospects’ right to ask (how, when)
    • Your obligation and your rights
    • What’s “reasonable” and legal reasons for denying a request
    • What you should know about the verification process
  • Assistance animals as an accommodation
    • The differences between “pets ,” “service animals ,” “assistance animals ,” “companion animals ,” “emotional support animals ,” etc.
    • What’s “reasonable” in terms of disability aid animals?
    • Practical expectations for disability-related animals
    • What’s okay vs. no-no’s regarding fees, deposits, animal rent, damage charges, etc.
    • Multiple animals per unit
    • Pets that become assistance animals – real or fiction?

Who Should Attend

  • Leasing managers
  • On-site managers
  • Portfolio managers
  • Compliance officers
  • Resident services coordinators (in affordable housing communities)
  • Maintenance and service technicians
  • Section 504 coordinators
  • Regional property supervisors
  • Community concierges (in high-end housing communities)
  • Independent landlords
  • Small operators
  • Property owners

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About the Presenter(s)

Jo Becker Jo Becker is a realtor-turned-fair housing advocate. She was a licensed housing provider for 8 years before working for a statewide fair housing nonprofit for 10 years where she has trained over 10,000 individuals, to consistently rave reviews. Her focus is on training housing providers including property managers, maintenance and service technicians, and private landlords.

Jo has also studied emergency preparedness and disaster response with a focus on animals since 2005. Today her career consists of an unexpected alchemy of public speaking and writing on topics that blend lifelong passions and multiple career experiences. Regardless of topic or audience, Jo's aim is to inform, empower, and inspire with historical and relatable context, understandable concepts, and bottom-line considerations.


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