Is a Reasonable Accommodation Support Animal a Lifetime Guarantee?

August 17th, 2019 | Community Association Law Blog

By Mary Wynn Seiter, Esq.

Years ago, John Smith submitted a request for an emotional support dog to his condo association, including the required documentation from his medical professional. His request was granted. The Board, appropriately, does not really know what John’s disability is, and therefore cannot tell if the disability is a temporary one, or one which may improve over time such that the reasonable accommodation might no longer be necessary. Can the Board ask John periodically to reconfirm his need for the dog? Yes, the Board can…

Much has been said in the media about the prevalence of reasonable accommodations being granted for support animals to assist residents with disabilities in public areas and residential communities – even if that animal would otherwise not be permitted as a pet. But did you know that your community association can request that these residents recertify the basis of their reasonable accommodations? As long as the disability is not one that is visually obvious, the governing board of your association can request that the resident submit materials – including a new medical provider certification – to support the continued requirement for the reasonable accommodation, no more frequently than once every 12 months.

Connect with our law firm to learn how best to assess and manage reasonable accommodation requests by your community association’s residents. We can help protect your association to ensure that you are not only following the law, but continue to look out for the best interests of the association and your residents.