On Tuesday, May 14th, 2019, at the Realtors® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C., Lynn Grosso, director of HUD's Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity Enforcement Office, said HUD is developing new guidance that will address for the first time "reliable verification" related to tenants’ service animal requests.
Landlords and property managers are legally prohibited from inquiring about the nature or severity of a tenant's disability; but the new guidelines may include asking the tenant to provide additional documentation from their medical provider. The most reliable form of verification is a letter from a medical provider who has a history of treating the tenant, and the letter should name the tenant's disability and the animal most qualified to assist him or her, Grosso said.
This will be a welcome respite for Landlords who right now have no legal recourse to verify the authenticity of the service animal certificates that are being presented to them.
The guidance in currently under federal review but it is expected to be released soon. Stay tuned for more information on the final release of the new guidelines.