Service and Companion Animals: A guide for your Colorado Springs Rental PropertyLet’s begin by distinguishing the difference between a service animal and a companion animal.

According to Jorgette Krsulic with Colorado Casa REALTORS in Colorado Springs, CO there are differences between a service animal and companion animal.  A service animal has specific training in order to assist the person for various tasks.  For example a dog that is trained to retrieve items for a person who can’t walk.  A companion animal is not necessarily trained and is used primarily for emotional support.  If you aren’t aware, persons with disabilities are a protected class under fair housing and reasonable accommodations must be made.

Like many things in this world there is lots of gray in the term “reasonable accommodations”.  What I do know is service/companion animals ARE NOT CONSIDERED PETS!!!!  Your “no pet” policy does not apply to either of the animals.  The Office of Fair Housing compares services animals to wheel chairs.  They are a tool for the mentally or physically challenged person and ARE NOT CONSIDERED PETS!!  I cannot stress this enough.  If a person has a service or companion animal you CANNOT charge an additional deposit.  The type of service animal is not restricted to dogs or cats, people have all types of pets as companion and service pets.  There are no breed restrictions for service/companion animals.  There is not mandatory documentation for a person to have a service or companion animal and if a disability is visible (i.e. a limp) you cannot ask the person for any information regarding the disability.

I’m going to keep this short and sweet but I’ll make sure to post another blog shortly that goes more in depth with reasonable accommodations.  If you have any questions regarding property management in Colorado Springs or Pueblo West please don’t hesitate to contact Muldoon Associates, Inc.!