Pit bull service dog unwelcome

Rent it Right

Learn the New Luxury Playbook at Luxury Connect | October 18-19 at the Beverly Hills Hotel

Q: A tenant who is qualified to rent an apartment has asked us to allow her to bring her service dog, which is a pit bull mix. We aren't arguing over whether she is legally disabled, and we would normally allow the service animal on the property, even though we have a "no pets" policy. But our insurance policy forbids pit bulls, and if we allow one to live here, we risk cancellation or higher premiums. We don't want to be slapped with a fair housing lawsuit, either. What should we do? --Henry H. A: You're on the right track by realizing that when a disabled tenant's reasonable request runs up against a policy or rule of yours, you need to consider adjusting that policy in order to accommodate the tenant. But your duty to accommodate isn't absolute -- if the tenant's request would result in an undue financial or administrative burden on your business, you may decline to make the accommodation. Before deciding whether to allow the dog on the property, get all the f...