Difference Between Service, Emotional Support Animals and Pets

Difference Between Service, Emotional Support Animals and Pets

Maximizing real estate asset management revolves around making the best choices for your properties, and allowing animals can help broaden your tenant pool.

Knowing about support animals, service animals, and pets is a good place to start. This will help you stay in line with the law and help you maximize your rental income.

Keep reading to discover the differences and how they impact your rental property.

Service Animals

Title II and Title III of the ADA define a service animal as a dog trained to do specific tasks for someone with a physical, psychiatric, sensory, or intellectual disability.

Some tasks performed by these animals include:

  • Helping blind people get around
  • Assisting deaf people with identifying sounds, like a knock on the door
  • Detecting and mediating psychiatric episodes
  • Perform tasks for people in wheelchairs
  • Distinguish autism signals
  • Respond to seizures by guarding or getting help

In most cases, this definition refers to dogs only, although some states recognize miniature horses as service animals. In all cases, service dogs have specific, intensive training to perform a tangible task.

Under US law, landlords must make accommodations for service animals when leasing a home to tenants with disabilities.

Defining Pets

Around 62% of Americans own pets. These animals range from goldfish and dogs to more exotic specimens, like snakes. Landlords aren't obliged to allow pets in rental housing.

However, you can charge more rent when you allow pets in a rental property. That's because pet-friendly properties are hard to find in Raleigh, NC.

You're also increasing your risk of damage from animal activities like chewing and digging, but you can charge a pet deposit to help with any associated costs.

Frequent rental property inspections are one way to limit the damage caused by emotional support animals and pets.

What Are Support Animals?

In North Carolina, landlords must make reasonable accommodations for support animals. These are animals that serve in a supporting role for people with mental disabilities.

They help comfort people with depression, ease anxiety, or alleviate loneliness. Some of these creatures are highly trained to help buffer people against stressful, triggering situations or to help them with phobias.

Since their role is mainly supportive, they aren't the same as service animals who perform physical tasks for people with disabilities. Any animal can be considered a support animal, but the owner must have a letter from a medical professional describing the patient's need for it.

As a landlord, you can't deny access to a support animal if the tenant can provide this documentation.

Maximizing Real Estate Asset Management

Hiring a property manager is the best way to keep tabs on your Raleigh rental homes. PMI Triangle can help you with turnkey property management services, including tenant screening and property inspections.

When you team up with us, you can rely on prompt attention to property maintenance and effective leases to protect you from damages caused by animals.

Speak to the experts at PMI Triangle today for the best advice about your Raleigh, North Carolina, investment property.