Are you concerned about a potential or current tenant giving you false assistance animal documentation? Yes, we were to for a while. The number of letters and notes we have received over the years from both legitimate and not so legitimate sources has skyrocketed in the last few years.
How can you know when an assistance animal letter is truly legitimate?
Well, thanks to a recent investigation led by HUD with the help of NARPM members and several lobbyists in our industry, websites that sell assistance animal documentation are under a microscope. While there is no “quick fix” to this epidemic of false documentation it certainly helps to weed out a tremendous amount of potentially false documents that can be purchased across the internet leaving property managers to sift through the legitimacy of the documentation while also being able to identify a tenant with a true need for an assistance animal.
What can you do to protect your investment?
Here is a list of items you can request from a current or potential tenant when it comes to assistance animals and/or pets.
- Letter from a medical professional or a person in a position to know, dated within the last 12 months.
- Verification that the animal is current on all shots/vaccinations.
- Verification that the animal is licensed in accordance with city or state law.
- You can ask; what service does the animal perform? (It is illegal to ask what the persons disability is.)
Here at RentWise, we use a third-party screening company called petscreening.com to verify assistance animals and/or pets. They gather all the proper documentation and ask the questions allowed by the ADA. It is a free service for anyone who has an assistance animal and a minimal cost to anyone who has pets.
If you are interested in reading more about this investigation we have provided the press release link below.
Would you like to learn more about our services and how owning a rental property can be LESS HASSLE, MORE HAPPY? Visit our website at www.RentWisePM.com or call us at 208-949-3083.