Many property owners debate whether or not to allow pets in their rental property for various reasons. That being said, if you do decide to allow pets in your rentals, you may have to deal with tenants who have pet allergies at some point or another. When this happens, you may be wondering what you should do, which is why, in today’s post, we will provide you with a few tips on what you should do to handle and/or prevent issues with pet allergies.
In addition to dealing with pet allergies, property owners have a lot on their plate, from maintaining the property to collecting rent each month. Each task can start to add up, especially if you manage more than one property. Luckily, Minnix Property Management can help. We offer professional property management services to property owners throughout West Texas. From collecting rent to organizing maintenance requests, we do it all. Explore our website to learn more and reach out to our team today!
Reasonable vs. Unreasonable Accommodations
Pet allergies can trigger asthma and anaphylactic reactions in some people, especially if their allergy is severe. Some people have mild asthma that is more manageable. However, if a tenant has severe asthma or is experiencing anaphylactic symptoms, their reaction may qualify as a disability under the Fair Housing Act, and you may have to make reasonable accommodations. According to the Fair Housing Act, an individual is considered disabled if they have “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.” For example, if the allergies they are experiencing make it difficult for them to go to work or school or even sleep at night, they are considered disabled.
If a tenant’s pet allergies are severe enough to qualify as a disability, you will need to provide reasonable accommodations. So what qualifies as reasonable and unreasonable accommodations? This is where it gets tricky. The Fair Housing Act defines a reasonable accommodation as a “change, exception, or adjustment to a rule, policy, practice, or service that may be necessary for a person with a disability to have an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling, including public and common-use spaces.” As you can imagine, if you own an apartment complex with 200 or more apartments, it can be difficult to try and find a solution for just one tenant. In an ideal world, you would have an apartment available where the previous tenant didn’t have pets and the neighbors also don’t have pets. Unfortunately, that may not be the case.
In a situation such as this, it doesn’t make sense to ban pets, especially if you have other tenants who have pets — this would fall under “unreasonable” accommodations. It’s also important to keep in mind that yes, you are required by law to provide reasonable accommodations to this one tenant, but that obligation doesn’t apply to your other tenants. Additionally, your obligation to provide reasonable obligations does not require you to change your entire operation.
Want to Know More?
As you can tell, dealing with tenants who have severe pet allergies can be tricky, which is why we will discuss a few ways you can try and prevent problems in part two of our series. If you would like to learn more in the meantime, reach out to Minnix Property Management. We offer professional property management services to property owners just like you, allowing you to take some of the stress off your plate. Explore our website to learn more and give us a call.
We look forward to working with you!