Condo Media - June 2018 - 57

joy their unit, and there is a disabilityrelated need for the animal.
MISREPRESENTATION OF PETS
Even when a doctor's note is provided,
many times the request seems disingenuous. Residents often provide
doctor's notes that they require more
than one emotional support animal, or
residents present a doctor's note for an
emotional support animal when they
already have a pet. A support animal
is not a "pet." Therefore, an individual
must be allowed to have an emotional
support animal in addition to any pet
that is allowed per the rules and regulations. Therefore, requests are often
made in an attempt to get around a
one-dog limit at a property, resulting in
a unit owner getting to have two dogs in
a one-dog only facility.
Association boards are often fearful
to question or fight back any request
for an accommodation because of the
great exposure associated with denying
a legitimate request. In most cases,
unless the certain animal (or animals)
requested would be unreasonable for
health and safety reasons, the association must make the accommodation-
and make it timely-to avoid liability for
violation of state and federal law. This
has been the trend for quite some time
and many people have taken advantage
of the seemingly blanket protection
afforded to anyone who makes a request
for a support animal.
The fear to question one's legal right
to have an animal as a disability accommodation has become so out of control,
that people are not only "faking" their
pets are support animals in a condominium setting, but they are pretending
their pets are service animals in a public
setting. People are boldly bringing
their dogs everywhere-restaurants,
retail stores, grocery stores-anywhere
they go. This behavior has triggered a
response in Rhode Island.
LEGISLATIVE FIX PROPOSED
Although dealing with service dogs
under the ADA, there was legislation

proposed as an amendment to Rhode
Island's Public Health and Workplace
Safety Act Chapter 23-20.10 to "crack
down" on phony service dogs. The
legislation would prohibit the misrepresentation of a pet as a service dog
and would provide civil penalties for
violations. While this is important for
associations that have areas of public
accommodation, it is also important for
those who do not. It is relevant because
it shows there is a public response to
the abuse that has been occurring and
there may be a growing protection
surrounding the ability to question
requests at an association level as well.
The legislation was introduced and
referred to the House Committee on
Health, Education, and Welfare, and in
late March 2018, the committee recommended it be held for further study.
While not moving forward at this time,
it is certainly an indication of a trend in
the right direction.

Associations should have a policy
in place for when a request is made
for a support animal, which includes
the requirement of a doctor's note.
Further, associations should have
rules and regulations in place to govern any animal that is allowed on the
property. Just because the animal is
allowed pursuant to an accommodation, doesn't mean the animal can't be
regulated. Finally, if a phony request
for a disability accommodation is
really suspected, it may be worth
investigating. Always consult an attorney for advice in how to appropriately
handle a request for a reasonable accommodation.
n MARY JOY HOWES, ESQ.,
IS A PARTNER WITH THE LAW FIRM
OF GOODMAN, SHAPIRO &
LOMBARDI, LLC.

Building Envelope
Restoration Specialists

AFTER

BEFORE

Serving New England Building Owners Since 1981
* Concrete Restoration
* Fa├žade Inspection & Repair
* Masonry Restoration
* Sealant Removal &
Replacement
* Parking Garage Repair
& Traffic Coatings

617-628-8888

* Specialty Coatings
* Waterproofing Systems
* Roofing: Flat, Slate, Copper,
Sheet Metal
* Roofing Maintenance
* Emergency Repairs
* Structural Repairs

www.weatherproofing.net
June 2018

57



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Condo Media - June 2018

Contents
Condo Media - June 2018 - Cover1
Condo Media - June 2018 - Cover2
Condo Media - June 2018 - Contents
Condo Media - June 2018 - 2
Condo Media - June 2018 - 3
Condo Media - June 2018 - 4
Condo Media - June 2018 - 5
Condo Media - June 2018 - 6
Condo Media - June 2018 - 7
Condo Media - June 2018 - 8
Condo Media - June 2018 - 9
Condo Media - June 2018 - 10
Condo Media - June 2018 - 11
Condo Media - June 2018 - 12
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Condo Media - June 2018 - 15
Condo Media - June 2018 - 16
Condo Media - June 2018 - 17
Condo Media - June 2018 - 18
Condo Media - June 2018 - 19
Condo Media - June 2018 - 20
Condo Media - June 2018 - 21
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Condo Media - June 2018 - 28
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Condo Media - June 2018 - Cover3
Condo Media - June 2018 - Cover4
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