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Florida Statutes  §413.08 protects the rights of handicapped persons, protects all  “Individual with a disability” which is defined as “a person who is deaf, hard of hearing, blind, visually impaired, or otherwise physically disabled.  “Hard of hearing” means an individual who has suffered a permanent hearing impairment that is severe enough to necessitate the use of amplification devices to discriminate speech sounds in verbal communication.  “Physically disabled” means any person who has a physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

Any “individual with a disability”  person who has a guide dog  (“service animal” )  is entitled to full and equal access to any rental property (except the rental of a single room in a single family home)  without having to pay anything extra for the dog.   Even customary pet deposits may not be collected.  The tenant is,  however, liable for any damage  to the premises done by the dog.

“Service animal” means an animal that is trained to perform tasks for an individual with a disability. The tasks may include, but are not limited to, guiding a person who is visually impaired or blind, alerting a person who is deaf or hard of hearing, pulling a wheelchair, assisting with mobility or balance, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, retrieving objects, or performing other special tasks. A service animal is not a pet.

The Florida Statues does not restrict what animal may be considered a “Service Animal.” We’ve seen instances of   horses, monkeys,  pigs, goats, snakes, birds, hamsters, and fish claimed as service animals.  http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30155540/ns/health-health_care/

 

The 2010 revision of the Americans with Disabilities Act does restrict “Service Animals”   to dogs.   So hopefully you wont have to contend with a prospective tenant with a horse.

See http://www.ada.gov/regs2010/ADAregs2010.htm

36.104 Definitions.

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Service animal means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals for the purposes of this definition. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the handler´s disability. Examples of work or tasks include, but are not limited to, assisting individuals who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds, providing non-violent protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, assisting an individual during a seizure, alerting individuals to the presence of allergens, retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone, providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities, and helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors. The crime deterrent effects of an animal´s presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition.

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