Pet Policies and Service Animals
Pets are a huge part of many families in the Chicago area and around the nation. Many people own multiple pets ranging anywhere from a couple dogs to cats, fish, and even snakes in some cases. As a Chicago property owner, how can you restrict pets in your building without being discriminatory? Can you have a no-pets policy in place by law and stay protected?
There is a way to post a no-pets policy with your Chicago property management company as long as you’re aware of the exceptions you need to have in place. Your pet policy has to have allowances for certain situations or you could find yourself in a legal battle over the policy itself.
Here are a few things you should be aware of as a condominium owner in Chicago and how you should handle any pet policy placements.
Know the Regulations
There are regulations in place to protect pet owners and you. It is important that you know and understand the regulations before you enact a no-pet policy. The Fair Housing Amendments Act is in place to make sure that no discrimination takes place in rental properties or other properties when it comes to people who are looking for places to live.
When you make a pet policy, there must be an exception written in for those with service or companion animals. If you do not have this type of stipulation in place, it can result in a discrimination case against you and your property. In a report published in 2017, over 50% of discrimination cases came about from those with disabilities. Most of the cases were due to a pet policy that would not allow their service animals to live in the home with them.
What You Need to Do
One of the first things you should do is make sure your Chicago property management company assists with keeping your rules and regulations in line with the Fair Housing Amendments. That means they will keep updated on any and all changing laws while keeping your property in compliance.
Your management company in Chicago can also put in writing a policy for no pets that includes a clause for those with service animals. It is very important to remember that these are not your typical pets. In many cases, they are life-saving companions to those in need. They can assist with those who do not see, hear, and those with PTSD or seizures. The variety is vast and to save yourself a lawsuit, you must have a clause in place for these service animals.
If you’re enacting a no-pets policy or already have one in place, make sure your policy is in compliance with the Fair Housing Amendments. Talk with your Chicago property management team to make sure all your policies are fair and in writing to save any issues down the road.
By working with an experienced team in property management, you can avoid costly lawsuits, fines, and more by simply making sure you follow all the rules in place.