Fair Housing and Service or Emotional Support Animals

Writen by Betsy Urbance |

Published: February 19, 2019 |

Reading Time: 1 min

Betsy UrbanceElizabeth A. (Betsy) Urbance
General Counsel and Vice President of Legal Services

Illinois REALTORS® has been fielding many questions related to tenants who have service or emotional support animals and whether the landlord can deny an otherwise qualified applicant on that basis. The general answer to that question, is no. A person with a service or emotional support animal must not be denied housing on that basis. The landlord or property manager could be facing a fair housing complaint case. A service or emotional support animal, when it comes to housing, is not a pet. Therefore, no pet policies and pet deposits do not apply. The landlord or property manager could charge the terminating tenant for any actual damages caused by the animal, after the fact.

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About the writer: Elizabeth A. (Betsy) Urbance, General Counsel and Vice President of Legal Services has served the association’s members as General Counsel since 2018 and prior to that she was Legal Hotline Attorney since 1994. Urbance is a 1984 graduate of Western Illinois University and received her law degree from the University of Missouri School of Law in 1987. She is licensed in both Illinois and Missouri.

Your Illinois REALTORS® Legal Team