Successfully Navigating Animal Accommodations in the Housing Industry (COSAHASN18)

Jo Becker
Language: English | Duration: 4.5 Hrs |
 
 

COURSE DESCRIPTION

Successfully dealing with disability-related aid animals as a reasonable accommodation is no small feat!

Any legal matter has complexities, nuisances, and ambiguities. Fair housing laws and other disability protections such as those afforded under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are no exception.

The disability protections under the federal Fair Housing Act (FHA) are multi-faceted and intricate. Every reasonable accommodation (RA) and reasonable modification (RM) request will be considered on a case-by-case basis, thus making it cumbersome and time-consuming.

Do you know that disability is the #1 basis for fair housing complaints filed across the nation - according to the Dept. of Housing & Urban Development - topping the 2nd highest protected class (race) by over 50%? Many of these involve requests to accommodate Companion animals or Service animals.

The Three part- course will help you to successfully navigate animal-related reasonable accommodations. It will give you the confidence to answer residents' and prospects' questions, understand which law to refer to (FHA and / or ADA), what kind of animals qualify under each, what limitations you can realistically impose, and how to keep yourself and your staff safe while boosting professionalism, improving customer service, and reducing the likelihood of complaints.

Practical (and hot!) topics covered in this course include:
  • Review of disability protections and the accommodation / verification process
  • Fundamental principles of disability-related accommodation under the federal Fair Housing Act, including:
    • Residents' / prospects' right to ask (how, when)
    • Your obligation and your rights
    • How "reasonable-ness" is determined and legal reasons for denying
  • Animals as a disability-related accommodation:
    • Important differences between pets, service animals, and assistance animals as well as other classifications such as emotional support animal, companion animal, etc.
    • What's okay vs. no-nos regarding fees, deposits, animal rent, damage charges, etc. that could invite a formal complaint or lawsuit
  • Discussion of state legislation intended to curb abuse of disability-related animals
    • How these state laws relate to federal laws and to the housing industry
  • Who can serve to verify a qualifying disability and the need for accommodation, including the prevalence of "online verifiers"
  • Realistic expectations for disability-related animals
  • Proper etiquette around working animals
  • Discussion of breed bans an apartment manager might encounter, including:
    • Those imposed by jurisdictions, insurance companies, and the property owner / management firm
    • Managers' role, responsibility, and options in each situation
  • Discussion of breed ban effectiveness and the official position of organizations ranging from animal rights groups to the American Bar Association
  • Tips for avoiding confrontation and attack with an unfamiliar or unfriendly dog on your property
 
Jo Becker

Jo Becker is a realtor-turned-fair housing advocate. She was a licensed housing provider for 8 years before working for a statewide fair housing nonprofit for 10 years where she has trained over 10,000 individuals, to consistently rave reviews. Her focus is on training housing providers including property managers, maintenance and service technicians, and private landlords.

Jo has also studied emergency preparedness and disaster response with a focus on animals since 2005. Today her career consists of an unexpected alchemy of public speaking and writing on topics that blend lifelong passions and multiple career experiences. Regardless of topic or audience, Jo’s aim is to inform, empower, and inspire with historical and relatable context, understandable concepts, and bottom-line considerations.

 

Session 1

Introduction:

You know that disability-related animals must be accommodated in housing under the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and you're familiar with service dogs under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA).

But are you comfortable walking through the reasonable accommodation process? Do you know what kind of animals can qualify for accommodation and the limits you can impose on them? Are your rules, procedures, expectations, and personal behavior helping or likely to harm your compliance efforts?

In this session, we'll cover the ins and outs of reasonable accommodations as it relates to assistance animals - including definitions, common misperceptions, frequent pitfalls, the verification process, what's "reasonable," and more!

Course Highlights:
  • A brief review of disability protections and the accommodation / verification process.
  • Fundamental principles of disability-related accommodation under the federal Fair Housing Act, including:
    • Residents' / prospects' right to ask (how, when)
    • Your obligations and your rights
    • How "reasonable-ness" is determined and legal reasons for denying
  • Animals as a disability-related accommodation:
    • Important differences between pets, service animals, and assistance animals as well as other classifications, such as emotional support animal, companion animal, etc.
    • What's okay vs. no-nos regarding fees, deposits, animal rent, damage charges, etc. that could invite a formal complaint or lawsuit
Who should attend:
  • Leasing managers
  • On-site managers
  • Portfolio managers
  • Compliance officers
  • Resident services coordinators (in affordable housing communities)
  • Maintenance and service technicians
  • Community concierges (in high-end housing communities)
  • Independent landlords or small operators
  • Homeowners association and community managers

Proposal: 90 Minutes + Q&A

 

Session 2

Introduction:

Nationwide there's massive confusion - and, yes, abuse as well - when it comes to service and assistance animals. In session one, we learned the differences (and very important legal distinctions) between these and other classifications. Yet not many of us are clear where to draw the line - in stores, on airlines, or in housing.

    Several states have recently passed legislation attempting to define and / or limit disability-related animals.

  • What does this mean for you in the housing industry?
  • What impact do a smattering of new state laws have on longstanding federal laws?

Some of the state laws address (and limit) who can verify a disability and the need for accommodation. In this session, we'll look at the impact these laws have on the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and on the Dept. of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) rulings and guidance. We'll also discuss the prevalence of "online verifiers."

We'll round out the session by covering practical expectations for disability-related animals as well as proper etiquette around working animals. Each aimed at handling real life lease violations, limiting complaints and liability, and increasing your professionalism and customer service.

Course Highlight:
  • State legislation intended to curb abuse of disability-related animals
  • How these state laws relate to federal laws and to the housing industry
  • Who can serve to verify a qualifying disability and the need for accommodation, including the prevalence of "online verifiers"
  • Practical expectations for disability-related animals
  • Proper etiquette around working animals
Who should attend:
  • Leasing managers
  • On-site managers
  • Portfolio managers
  • Compliance officers
  • Resident services coordinators (in afforable housing communities)
  • Maintenance and service technicians
  • Community concierges (in high-end housing communities)
  • Independent landlords or small operators
  • Homeowners association and community managers

Proposal: 90 Minutes + Q&A

 

Session 3

Introduction:

Some state and local jurisdictions, insurance companies, and apartment complexes have banned certain dog breeds as "aggressive."

What does it mean to you if your jurisdiction or insurance company has such a policy and you have in-place residents with a named breed or you have reasonable accommodation requests for disability-related animals on the banned list?

Are breed bans a tactic you have (or have considered) employing on your property?

More importantly, are breed bans effective at reducing bites and incidents of attack? Will such policies likely increase or decrease the risk of general liability and fair housing claims stemming from dog attacks on the property and / or proposed disability discrimination?

This session will offer answers to these questions! As a bonus, you'll also learn some basic "critter communication" principles and body language techniques designed to help you maintain on-the-job safety for you and your management team, regardless of the kind of animal encountered (pet, service, assistance, etc.), the species (dog, cat, or other), or the breed (banned or otherwise).

Course Highlight:
  • The range of breed bans an apartment manager might encounter and their role, responsibility, and options in each
  • Discussion on effectiveness of breed bans and the official position of organizations ranging from animal rights groups to the American Bar Association
  • Tips on reading dogs including warning and welcoming signs
  • Tips for avoiding confrontation and attack with an unfamiliar or unfriendly dog on your property
Who should attend:
  • Leasing managers
  • On-site managers
  • Portfolio managers
  • Compliance officers
  • Resident services coordinators (in affordable housing communities)
  • Maintenance and service technicians
  • Community concierges (in high-end housing communities)
  • Independent landlords or small operators
  • Homeowners association and community managers

Proposal: 90 Minutes + Q&A

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 
  1. Where can a user access the Service Animal in Apartment Industry Course?

    Answer: It is an online live course that begins from July 12, 2018. The course includes three live sessions, hosted on 12th, 19th, 26th July 2018.

     
  2. What will a user get by subscribing the Service Animal in Apartment Industry Course?

    Answer: This course has three exclusive sessions,each spanning over 90 minutes. Every user will receive multiple assignments to work on, and quizzes to test his/her skill level and understanding of this course. Upon completion of this course, the user will get a certificate of completion.

     
  3. Is the course available for purchase in DVD or on-demand format?

    Answer: Every customer will get 1-year access to the personal dashboard. Once the session is done, a recording for the same will be updated in the customer's dashboard which he/she can access as per his/her convenience. This dashboard will also have all the conferences, assignments, the completion certificate, and more listed for use. The user can use their personal dashboard access to listen to any of these sessions as many times for next one year.

     
  4. What is the system configuration required for this course?

    Answer: There is no specific system configuration needed for accessing this course. The only basic features a user needs to connect to this course are a Flash Player and a decent internet connection.

     
  5. Can multiple people use the Service Animal in Apartment Industry Course with a single purchase?

    Answer: One course is accessible to a single user only (per purchase).

     
  6. How can a user purchase the Service Animal in Apartment Industry Course?

    Answer: A user can make the payment towards this course through any of the following payment modes:

    • Credit Card
    • PayPal
    • Check, drawn in favor of Assisted Housing Alerts, and needs to be sent at the following address:
     

    Assisted Housing Alerts
    PO Box 933868, Atlanta, GA 31193-3868

Online Course

$399

Includes:

  • One year access
  • Certificate of Completion
  • 3 Session for 90 mintues each
  • Assignments
  • Quiz