Differences Between Service Animals, Support Animals, and Pets in Los Angeles, Ca

Differences Between Service Animals, Support Animals, and Pets in Los Angeles, Ca

Los Angeles may have one of the tightest rental markets in the country, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't do everything you can to attract good tenants to your investment property.

Allowing pets in your rental unit is one way to encourage more inquiries from potential tenants. Yet, in some cases, you might not have a choice when it comes to allowing animals on your property.

Support animals and service animals are treated differently from pets when it comes to residential rentals. Read on to discover the difference between them and how it could impact you.

Should You Allow Pets in Your Rental Home?

More than half of the families in the United States own pets. These animals include numerous species, from goldfish to horses. Some people even keep exotic birds and reptiles.

When you allow pets in your rental unit, you can charge higher rates. You're also increasing the risk of damage caused by badly behaved animals.

To help reduce the risks associated with pets, it's best to screen tenants carefully and conduct regular property inspections. You can also charge a pet deposit as additional security.

Service Animals Defined

According to Titles II and III of the ADA, service animals are dogs trained to do particular tasks for a person with an intellectual, sensory, physical, or psychiatric disadvantage.

Dogs are most often used for these tasks, but some states also recognize miniature horses in this capacity. These animals might assist people with tasks like:

  • Helping blind people navigate the world
  • Identifying sounds for deaf people
  • Assist people in wheelchairs
  • Pick up on autism signals
  • Assist in the event of seizures

According to the Fair Housing Act, landlords must make reasonable accommodations to allow disabled people to house their assistance animals. These accommodations may include waiving the pet deposit and allowing pets to stay in housing with a no-pets policy.

Where Do Support Animals Fit In?

Support animals are therapy animals that offer comfort to people with mental disabilities. These afflictions may include depression, anxiety, and even loneliness.

Some of these therapy animals are highly trained to assist people with phobias or buffer them from stressful situations. Yet, they don't perform specific actions for these people. As such, they aren't classified as service animals.

Any creature may fulfill the role of an emotional support animal, provided their owner has a legitimate letter describing why the person needs this type of assistance.

If a tenant can provide this documentation, a landlord must make the same accommodations as they do for service animals.

Protect Your Best Interests as an Investor

While you may have no choice about allowing service or emotional support animals on your property, it's important to get advice regarding a pet policy for your rental.

PMI Los Angeles is backed by 20 years of experience in California real estate. We offer an extensive range of property management services to help you make the best decisions for your property.

Explore our simple, stress-free formula for making the most of your Los Angeles investment home, today.