There are a lot of pet ownership rules that Dallas residents need to be aware of. For example, the city imposes limits on the number of pets you can have based on your type of residence.
There are certain pet laws that Dallas landlords and property owners need to be aware of, too. The primary law that you should know about when screening tenants pertains to support animals.
If you run a pet-free property and a tenant with a support animal applies, what are your rights? Can you tell them they can't bring their support animal to your Dallas rental?
Read on to find out everything you need to know about support animals in Dallas.
Can You Deny Support Animals in Dallas?
A support animal, also known as an emotional support animal, is not the same as a service animal. Support animals are registered by a medical professional, which can include a certified therapist, but they're not trained the way that a service animal is. The purpose of a support animal is to provide emotional support to someone who has a relevant disability or hardship.
Under federal law, you must accommodate any tenants who own a registered support animal. What that means is that you can't deny a tenant's right to keep a support animal on your property, even if your property is typically pet-free.
It's important to note that while you can ask for proof that the animal is registered as a support animal, you can't ask for proof of a disability. You also cannot ask what the disability is. This would violate the tenant or applicant's right to privacy.
Can You Charge a Pet Fee for Support Animals in Dallas?
Perhaps you do allow pets on your property in exchange for an additional pet fee. Perhaps you don't allow pets on your property but want to know if you can charge a pet fee when a tenant has an emotional support animal.
Whether or not you already charge a pet fee, you may not charge one for someone's support animal. However, that doesn't mean that you can't withhold part of a tenant's security deposit if the animal damages your property.
How Can You Stay on Top of Dallas Tenant Rights?
If you're reading this, it probably means that you weren't familiar with tenant rights when it comes to support animals. What other tenant rights don't you know about?
By partnering with our property management team, you can rest assured that you're in compliance with all tenant rights in Dallas.
Let Us Help You Manage Your Dallas Properties
Many property owners don't allow pets in rentals. However, allowing pets isn't the same as accommodating support animals. Make sure that you're in compliance with support animal laws the next time you encounter a tenant or applicant who has one.
Do you need help managing your Dallas properties? We're here to help. Contact us to find out how the Home River Group can help you to manage and boost your Dallas rentals.