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What Qualifies as a Service Animal vs. a Pet in Hayward, CA?

If a prospective tenant calls you and says they have a service animal and would like to apply for your property, be careful. You can ask for written verification or documentation that it is a service animal unless the disability is easily seen. If the person is blind or deaf or in a wheelchair, you don’t necessarily have to ask for written verification. But, if it’s not obvious, you can ask for that documentation. This verification can be from a doctor that states the disability and explains the need for a service animal. It can be a letter or something from a support group, like AA. It can be from a non-medical agency like the Braille Institute. It could be self-provided as well. A letter from a disability organization that proves the tenant is on disability would establish a need for that service animal as well.

INCLUDE A LEASE ADDENDUM

Just because it’s a service animal doesn’t mean that you can’t include an addendum to your lease. Service animals are still expected to behave in a certain way and not damage your property. So, you can have the tenant sign that addendum and agree to abide by your rules and regulations.

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