I was recently teaching a Legal Update II class about Fair Housing Laws when an agent described an interesting situation she recently encountered. 

One of her landlord clients received an application from a tenant whose service animal was a pit bull. The landlord—whose insurance policy didn’t allow certain dogs breeds, including pit bulls— asked if they could deny the tenant’s application and not get sued under the Fair Housing Act.

“If it’s not possible, only then is the landlord justified in saying no to the applicant.”

The answer is yes and no. HUD expects that landlord to make every reasonable effort to accommodate the tenant applicant, including reaching out to their insurance company to see if an exception can be made or a rider could be added to the policy at a modest expense. If that doesn’t happen, the landlord is then expected to reach out to other insurance companies to see if there’s any way the tenant can be accommodated. 

If it’s not possible, only then is the landlord justified in saying no to the applicant. 

As always, if you have any questions about this topic or there’s anything I can do to help you in your career, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to help you.