Request for service animal accommodation
If you need to live with your service animal because of your disability, please make a reasonable accommodation request in writing to the property manager. A copy of a sample reasonable accommodation letter is attached for your reference.
Verification of your disability and need for a service animal
Please provide written verification that you have a disability and that the accommodation of a service animal is necessary to give you an equal opportunity to use and enjoy your housing. This verification must be in the form of a signed and dated letter (within the last 12 months), on letterhead, from your doctor or other medical professional, or other qualified third party, who in their professional capacity, has knowledge about your disability as defined by fair housing laws and your need for a reasonable accommodation. You do not have to provide details about your disability or about the specific tasks the service animal performs.
How fair housing laws define a person with disabilities
Under fair housing laws, a person is considered to be disabled if she/he has a sensory, mental or physical condition that substantially limits one or more major life activities (such as walking, seeing, hearing, working, etc). The state law definition includes disabilities that are temporary or permanent, common or uncommon, mitigated or unmitigated. Some people have a disability-related need for service animals to assist them with the functional limitations caused by their disabilities.
How fair housing laws define a service animal
Fair Housing Act (FHA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (504) – These laws do not specifically define “assistance animals”; however, they require the provision of “reasonable accommodations” for people with disabilities, which include assistance animals. For the purposes of compliance with the FHA and 504, HUD has defined assistance animals as animals that serve as a reasonable accommodation for people with disabilities by assisting those individuals in some identifiable way by making it possible for them to make more effective use of their housing. Such animals are often referred to as service animals, assistive animals, support animals, or therapeutic animals, and may include any animal that actually performs tasks or a service for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including, but not limited to, guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals with hearing impairments to sounds, pulling a wheelchair, fetching items or providing emotional support to people with mental disabilities.”
Report any problems with this process
If you believe rental staff is not handling your request for a service animal properly, contact Michele Christensen, Operations Manager, at 360-657-5300.
Your responsibility for animal care and supervision
You are responsible for the care of your service animal. You must supervise your animal and maintain full control of it at all times. This means that while your animal is in common areas, it’s on a leash, harnessed, in a carrier, or otherwise in your direct control. When in the presence of others, the animal is expected to be well behaved (not jumping on or nipping at people, not snarling or barking, etc.).
You are responsible for the proper disposal of animal waste
Carry equipment to clean up your service animal’s feces whenever the animal is in the common areas.
Properly dispose of animal waste and/or litter.
If you need assistance with cleanup, arrange for such help through family, friends or advocates