A tenant requested that he be allowed to have an assistance animal in the rental property as a reasonable accommodation because he has a disability. The property owner normally requires a pet deposit. Can the property owner require that the tenant pay a pet deposit as a condition for allowing the assistance animal in the rental property?

No. A property owner cannot require a tenant to pay a pet deposit or any other additional deposit as a condition for allowing an assistance animal in a rental property. A reasonable accommodation request for an assistance animal cannot be conditioned on the payment of such a fee, However, a tenant with an assistance animal will still be considered legally responsible for any damage caused by that animal.

Is a tenant required to renew any documentation that was provided with a reasonable accommodation request for an assistance animal?

There is no obligation on the tenant to renew the reasonable accommodation documentation. If the tenant’s disability is not readily observable or the documentation does not include information about a chronic disability-related need for the assistance animal, a landlord may contact the healthcare provider that provided the documentation after 12 months to assess whether the healthcare provider still advises the need for the assistance animal. However, if a landlord were to implement a practice of re-assessing reasonable accommodation requests, the landlord should include information about the re-assessment in the landlord’s written criteria or policies to apply to future requests. A landlord should not re-assess any accommodations the landlord has already granted prior to implementing such a policy.