Emotional support animal - state and federal law

2 Replies

Here is my situation hoping folks on here can help provide thoughts:

I own a 3 family home in New Jersey. I occupy 1 unit and advertised the other 2 for rent with a "no pet" policy. Prospective tenant informed me that he has a emotional support animal. 

I believe the FHA exempts multi-families of 4 units or less that are owner occupied. The language in the NJ Law against Discrimination, limits exemptions to 2 family homes where the owner occupied 1 unit.

Does this mean based on NJ state law My property is not exempt? 

I had an applicant that disclosed an emotional support dog when they came to see the place. Have not received an application. But want to be clear on how to go about handing the application.

thanks,

satha 

The easiest and best way to handle the situation is to take applications and choose the best fit for your property based on your screening policies. That is the purpose behind screening. Which law applies, state or fed, makes little difference.

The reality is that simply because you have a applicant that receives preferential treatment does not mean you are obligated to compromise your standards. Weather they do or do not have a animal will likely not end up being a deciding factor when considering all screening standards. You accept the most qualified from the group of applicants. Only you decide when to stop accepting applications.

Many may suggest this is boarding on discrimination but in reality when you remove the animal from the scenario this is how landlords always select tenants. There is always a more qualified applicant waiting to apply.

First qualified is a political joke and should be ignored when protecting your business interests unless of course it works in your favour. :)

Originally posted by @Satha Palani :

Here is my situation hoping folks on here can help provide thoughts:

I own a 3 family home in New Jersey. I occupy 1 unit and advertised the other 2 for rent with a "no pet" policy. Prospective tenant informed me that he has a emotional support animal. 

I believe the FHA exempts multi-families of 4 units or less that are owner occupied. The language in the NJ Law against Discrimination, limits exemptions to 2 family homes where the owner occupied 1 unit.

Does this mean based on NJ state law My property is not exempt? 

I had an applicant that disclosed an emotional support dog when they came to see the place. Have not received an application. But want to be clear on how to go about handing the application.

thanks,

satha 

 Many local municipalities have landlord tenant law that go above & beyond the laws that are on the state & federal level. So you would need to adhere to the local municipality laws. Doesn't seem like a big cause for concern right now. I am sure there will be multiple qualified tenants just pick the best qualified tenant.

James Wise, Real Estate Agent in OH (#2015001161)
216-661-6633

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