(i.e., service, aid, companion and therapy animals)

Housing providers, including landlords and home owner associations, have the right to prohibit pets. Housing providers also must provide a reasonable accommodation to their policies in order to permit an animal recommended for a disability. Under fair housing law, such animals are regarded as tools to aid individuals with disabilities, similar to wheelchairs.
    • The animal may be a trained service animal or may be a companion or therapy animal recommended for a mental or emotional disability. The law in housing is different from the law in public accommodations (restaurant, stores, etc.,) where only trained service animals are permitted.
    • Animals may be recommended for a variety of conditions, including:
  • Sight
  • Hearing
  • Balance
  • Fetching things
  • Managing blood sugar levels
  • Seizures
  • Migraines
  • Anxiety
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Depression
  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Regulating heart rates
  • Autism
  • Attention Deficit Disorder

The landlord has the right to ensure that the animal is necessary for the disability and may require a written verification from the medical or mental health provider treating the individual.

Landlords may require licensing and vaccinations for assistance animals if that is what is required by local law for domestic animals.

Landlords may not apply size, weight, or breed restrictions to an assistance animal. The only exception would be if the particular animal has a history of problem behavior. Likewise, insurance companies with weight and/or breed restrictions need to provide accommodations for assistance animals.

Dogs are the most common assistance animals, but other animals may be recommended as well.

It is possible that a resident will request an accommodation for more than one animal. In this case, the landlord can request verification that both animals are necessary because of a person's disability.

Landlords can charge a deposit for pets, but not for assistance animals.

Landlords may ask residents with an assistance animal to sign an assistance animal agreement. The agreement would typically say that the resident is responsible for the animal's care and waste pickup and that the animal must not disturb other residents or damage property.


Detailed information for medical and other care providers is available here:

If you still have fair housing questions, call our hotline at (503) 223-8197 Ext. 2 or (800) 424-3247 Ext. 2 or email us.