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Do mobile parks need to allow emotional support animals?

On Behalf of | Aug 18, 2022 | Commercial Real Estate |

As a landlord, you have to balance the amenities you offer with the cost to provide them. It can be hard to prevent damages to your units if the policies you set are too permissive, especially if you maintain individual units in a mobile home park.  

Being an animal-friendly park if you retain ownership of the individual homes and not just of the lot spaces can drastically increase what it cost to maintain sanitary and attractive units. You may not allow pets, but you may sometimes need to allow animals regardless of your pet policy. 

Some current tenants or prospective tenants can compel you to accommodate them if they have a provable medical condition and a service animal. Will you also need to accommodate emotional support animals as well? 

There are special requirements for California landlords

Service animals go through rigorous training and certification, which is why it is reasonable to expect businesses and landlords to accommodate them. Emotional support animals are not subject to the same strict oversight as service animals, but tenants can still potentially demand accommodations if they have a medical need. 

California does have special rules for emotional support animals. They require specific paperwork for an animal to qualify, and the individual needs to have a legitimate relationship with the specialist recommending an emotional support animal. 

Provided that tenants have the appropriate paperwork and their circumstances meet the requirements, you may need to accommodate their emotional support animal without imposing any additional costs. If they do not have the appropriate paperwork, then you may not need to accommodate them. 

Understanding the rules that apply to landlords and those managing mobile home parks in California can help you better comply with the law.