AgentRentals

Is tenant monkeying with disabilities law?

Rent it Right

Q: My apartment complex specifies "no pets." A tenant has just asked for permission to keep a monkey -- no, she didn't even ask, she announced -- that the monkey would be living with her. She claims she needs it as a service animal, and she has shown me a letter from her doctor, which says that in his opinion, she needs the animal. Do I have to allow the monkey? --Jared D. A: A service animal is "any animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability," according to the Americans with Disabilities Act. When that law was signed in 1990, it's doubtful that Congress envisioned much more than seeing-eye dogs, but the definition has been expanded in states (and some cities) that have written more inclusive protections. In San Francisco, for example, service animals can include reptiles, pigeons, chickens and rodents. Let's assume that you, like most landlords, are not covered by any law other than the ...