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Can a tenant involve "Emotional Support Animals (cat), after the lease was signed stipulating "No Pets"?

San Francisco, CA |

I own a property in San Francisco Ca. and am renting to a family member. The property is managed professionally via a realtor firm. A "No Pet" clause was included in the initial contract. The contract was signed. A few months after, a request was made for pet. I informed the tenant to please adhere to the terms and conditions of the original contract. The tenant then obtained a letter for a Psychiatry doctor about the tenant's mental illness disability: social anxiety and coping with certain situations. Her doctor has prescribed an emotional support animal. The property is leased by my uncle; however, has his daughter living at the residence. Nothing was said about a pet prior to signing the lease. The cat is currently at the residence. What legal recourse do I have? Thank you.

Attorney Answers 2


You cannot refuse a "service" animal. You really should speak with an attorney regarding your responsibilities under the ADA and the Fair Housing Act.

If we do not have a signed fee agreement I am not your attorney and this is not legal advice.

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I agree with the answer above. A tenant may have the legal right to keep an emotional support animal at her residence notwithstanding a "no pet" clause in the lease. Also, a landlord's refusal to make a reasonable accommodation to a tenant to permit her to keep an emotional support animal can be housing discrimination and expose the landlord to liability. However, each case will depend on the facts specific to each situation. I suggest consulting with an attorney.

I am NOT giving you legal advice. Nothing stated here should be construed to establish any sort of attorney-client relationship. My opinion stated here is limited by the information available to me. You should not rely on my statements in determining your course of action.

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