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Pet Allergies and Reasonable Accommodations

· Palo Alto California,Scott Safadi,Atari-themed,sunnyvale,housingforgoogle

Everyone loves animals, right? While it's safe to assume most folks love to pet a kitten or play with a puppy, the reality is that not everyone enjoys pets the same way. In fact, for those with severe allergies, pet hair and dander can present real health hazards. It's one of the main reasons landlords forbid pets to begin with. Scott Safadi of Cal Bay Property Management recommends ensuring that your tenants are doing a particularly thorough job of cleaning when they move out, especially if they had pets. Leaving behind even the smallest amount of pet hair can result in serious health risks for the next person who moves in.

Take, for example, the following example: if you onboard a new tenant with a severe allergy to cats, there may very well be problems moving them into a unit where a previous cat-lover tenant recently lived. The typical cleanup that might be required of your tenants may not be enough to satisfy a person with sensitive allergies. Should you shell out for an expensive, thorough, top-to-bottom clean to ensure the apartment is healthy for the new tenant?

The answer is probably yes. The Fair Housing Act requires landlords to provide reasonable accommodations to tenants with special health concerns. Defining the world reasonable isn't always easy to do, but ensuring that an apartment is free of pet hair and dander is indeed reasonable. Whether you and your team roll up your sleeves yourselves to provide a deep clean or hire a maid service to do it for you, it's safest to work with such a tenant rather than against them.

Consider this theoretical when determining whether pets are right for your community. While dogs and cats can certainly bring your tenants a lot of happiness, they do undeniable damage in even minor ways. The most responsible and clean pet owner will still likely leave behind pet hair and other evidence that an animal was present. While this might be considered normal wear and tear, it'll be up to you to have the unit clean enough for the next tenant.

- Scott Safadi, Cal Bay Property Management

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