04 Feb HUD Guidance – Emotional Support Animals
On January 28, 2020, HUD issued Notice FHEO-2020-1, commonly referred to as the “Assistance Animals Notice”. The Notice contains two important attachments.
The first attachment, entitled Assessing a Person’s Request to Have an Animal as a Reasonable Accommodation Under the Fair Housing Act, lists best practices for housing providers in considering accommodation requests for service and emotional support animals. The second attachment, entitled Guidance on Documenting an Individual’s Need for Assistance Animals in Housing, offers guidance on the kind of information that may be requested from an individual concerning their disability-related need for the requested accommodation.
HUD has also issued a “Fact Sheet on HUD’s Assistance Animals Notice”. The fact sheet contains questions and answers about the Assistance Animals Notice.
While HUD offers a disclaimer that the Notice does not have the force and effect of law and is not meant to be binding on the public, nothing prevents a federal or state court from finding the Notice persuasive and using the Notice in determining liability in a court case.