Pets, Service and Comfort Animals—They’re Different Under the Americans with Disability Act and Fair Housing Amendment Act?


“Pets” are not service or comfort animals under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) or the Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA). Community residents or prospective residents claiming a disability and desiring to keep a certain “pet” in contravention of a community’s “no pet” or “pet restrictive” policy or rules will generally assert, however, that under either or both ADA or FHAA the community must alter its policy or rule to allow a pet as a reasonable accommodation. Evaluating whether an animal is truly a pet or qualifies as a service or support animal requiring a reasonable accommodation can be complex and confusing and should be undertaken seriously, methodically and objectively with the community’s counsel. A wrong guess could be costly. Thus, in all cases where either ADA or FHAA may apply, to avoid possible ADA violations the ADA service animal test1 should be applied first. This is because if the animal qualifies under ADA as a service animal it must be permitted to accompany the disabled resident in all areas where persons are normally allowed to go. If the animal does not meet the ADA service animal test, community management must then evaluate a reasonable accommodation request under FHAA statutes and regulations.


What is Management?


“Management is the responsibility for and control of a company.” What can park owners do to be better management leaders?


Don’t you agree that our business has become more complicated by economics, government regulation, and the need to stay profit-able?  Whether you are the direct park owner/manager or use a management company, the ultimate responsibility lies with owners. Who cares about your check-book balance more than you?



Pools and Summer Reminders: New Liability Claims for Discriminatory Management Guidelines


Summer is here again! And the kids have started their seasonal pilgrim- age to the coolest place in the all- age park, the swimming pool. Each year, there is accidental loss of life in private residential pools. Management is not required to provide lifeguards or medical services. As a mandate of federal law (mirrored in the Fair Employment and Housing Act as well), when it comes to common facilities in all age parks, (pools included), parents and guardians are charged with the discretion and power to supervise. This is not a management function. And now, a new case shows that liability can be sought for internal management guidelines passed along to managers from educational course notes!