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Im moving into a condo, landlord went onto my facebook saw I have a Stradford Terrier

Is it legal for her to not allow me to move into the condo when my dog (Stratford shire  terrier) is a service dog for my severe anxiety. I dont use medication for my anxiety and having my dog helps me get through my day without using anxiety medication. Is it legal for her to evict me if I have a service dog with papers. How can I get her to allow my service dog to move in with me? Dogs of all sizes are allowed in the condo complex. What should I do? What can I do and what can I expect?
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September 26 2013 - Anaheim
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Answers (5)

It might clarify things if you happened to mention that Staffordshire Terrier is the AKC official name for a breed commonly referred to as a Pit Bull.

And yes, many apartment complexes and other large landlord entities do not allow Pit Bulls, in their complexes.

Your Pit Bull MIGHT have a gentle temperament, but the breed has a stigma against it, and that's something you either have to accept - and live with the consequences - or educate the landlord about.

There is plenty of information about Pit Bulls on the Internet.  Unfortunately, for you, it's both good and bad.
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September 27 2013
Yes and No.

Given the facts you've laid out, I would hire a tenant / landlord attorney if you REALLY want to move into that place - but why ?

In reality, you want to find a landlord who loves you and your dog, regardless of any type of disability. Forcing a landlord to rent to you - which u probably could do and a good attorney and enough money and time - will only increase your anxiety level.... so why ??


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September 26 2013
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Nolo has some excellent articles on service dogs.

It is important to distinguish between a psychiatric service dog and an emotional support dog.   "The animal companionship of an emotional support dog can have genuine therapeutic benefits for individuals with psychiatric disabilities and less severe mental impairments. But unless the dog is also trained to work—to independently recognize and respond to its owner's psychiatric disability—the dog does not qualify as a psychiatric service dog and does not receive the protections of the ADA."

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September 26 2013
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Wetdawgs had a good response for your "what can I do and what can I expect?" question. My response may seem a bit less sympathetic.

Why did your landlord have to discover your dog/breed by checking your Facebook account? It's been a while since I've rented, but I remember questions about pets and security deposits. Did the landlord not ask you this as part of your application?

Personally, if I were the landlord and you lied ("misrepresented" sounds much politer, but really is just sugar-coating the issue) on your application, I'd be inclined to decline you just for lying - and likely would be well within my legal rights to do so (based on all 5 minutes of my Internet research).

As for the breed (again, based on 5-or-so minutes of Internet research), it sounds like they may make good therapy dogs, but are also known for aggression to other dogs. "Therapy dog" or not, that may work against you.

Bottom line...

If you tried to hide your dog (and I don't know of reason to have done so, as you say that other dogs are already in the complex and have implied that you have papers indicating it is a service dog), you dug a hole that may be very difficult to climb out of.

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September 26 2013
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You are in a difficult situation.  Landlords are allowed to discriminate against certain breeds because they have found that insurance companies will discriminate against the breeds and make it so that the landlords cannot get the insurance they need for their properties.

However, there is the conflicting difficulty with ADA and rights for those needing emotional support dogs.   This link says "In most housing complexes, so long as the tenant has a letter or prescription from an appropriate professional, such as a therapist or physician, and meets the definition of a person with a disability, he or she is entitled to a reasonable accommodation that would allow an emotional support animal in the apartment."

There are a number of challenges re Service Dogs and Emotional Support dogs recently and I suspect some changes are coming in the future.   Why?  There are a number of scam websites selling papers and vests etc to support that a dog is a service dog or emotional support dog.  $49 and one's rowdy juvenile destructive dog has no rules, wow!  what a bargain!   I'm sure you are not in that position and are willing to jump through the appropriate hoops.

You may wish to pull up the CA landlord/tenant handbook and call the support numbers for more details on how to address this specifically.
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September 26 2013
 
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