Utah Department of Administrative Services Division of Administrative Rules

File No. 35094

This rule was published in the August 15, 2011, issue (Vol. 2011, No. 16) of the Utah State Bulletin.


Labor Commission, Antidiscrimination and Labor, Fair Housing

Section R608-1-17

Assistance Animals

Notice of Proposed Rule

(Amendment)

DAR File No.: 35094
Filed: 07/22/2011 09:47:36 AM

RULE ANALYSIS

Purpose of the rule or reason for the change:

This rule defines circumstances in which state and federal fair housing laws authorize an individual with a disability to possess an assistance animal as a reasonable accommodation. The rule also addresses the relationship of fair housing standards for use of service animals to standards found at 62A-5b-101 et seq. for use of service animals in public areas, common carriers, and similar locations.

Summary of the rule or change:

The rule clarifies that federal and state fair housing laws entitle an individual with a disability to have an assistance animal in a housing facility that would otherwise restrict such animals, provided that the service animal is necessary to the disabled individual's use and enjoyment of the housing. The rule allows a housing provider to verify the need for such an assistance animal, and to disallow a service animal on the grounds of undue financial or administrative burden, safety, or other such reasons. The rule also clarifies that use of a service animal as a reasonable accommodation is limited to tenants and prospective tenants and does not extend to visitors or guests.

State statutory or constitutional authorization for this rule:

  • Section 63G-4-102 et seq.
  • Section 57-21-1 et seq.

Anticipated cost or savings to:

the state budget:

The rule will not have any appreciable effect on the state's costs in administering and enforcing fair housing laws, nor is the rule expected to have any other fiscal impact on the state budget.

local governments:

To the extent that local governments provide housing to disabled individuals, such governments may be subject to this rule's requirements. Because the rule merely restates and clarifies the existing requirements of state and federal statutes, adoption of the rule will not result in any cost or savings to local governments.

small businesses:

To the extent that small businesses provide housing to disabled individuals, such small businesses may be subject to this rule's requirements. Because the rule merely restates and clarifies the existing requirements of state and federal statutes, adoption of the rule will not result in any cost or savings to small businesses.

persons other than small businesses, businesses, or local governmental entities:

In addition to local governments and small businesses, other entities that provide housing to disabled individuals may be subject to this rule's requirements. Because the rule merely restates and clarifies the existing requirements of state and federal statutes, adoption of the rule will not result in any cost or savings to small businesses.

Compliance costs for affected persons:

This rule imposes no compliance costs on affected persons. The rule's substantive provisions are already part of state and federal Fair Housing law. Consequently, housing providers and housing consumers are already subject to the requirements contained in the rule.

Comments by the department head on the fiscal impact the rule may have on businesses:

By clarifying and explaining to housing providers and housing consumers the rules that apply to assistance animals, the proposed rule should avoid conflict and reduce the number of adjudicative proceedings on this issue. To that extent, the proposed rule will reduce litigation costs for businesses and individuals.

Sherrie Hayashi, Commissioner

The full text of this rule may be inspected, during regular business hours, at the Division of Administrative Rules, or at:

Labor Commission
Antidiscrimination and Labor, Fair Housing
160 E 300 S
SALT LAKE CITY, UT 84111-2316

Direct questions regarding this rule to:

  • Alan Hennebold at the above address, by phone at 801-530-6937, by FAX at 801-530-6390, or by Internet E-mail at ahennebold@utah.gov

Interested persons may present their views on this rule by submitting written comments to the address above no later than 5:00 p.m. on:

09/14/2011

This rule may become effective on:

09/21/2011

Authorized by:

Sherrie Hayashi, Commissioner

RULE TEXT

R608. Labor Commission, Antidiscrimination and Labor, Fair Housing.

R608-1. Utah Fair Housing Rules.

R608-1-17. Assistance Animals.

A. General

1. Pursuant to the Utah Fair Housing Act and the federal Fair Housing Act, this rule defines the circumstances in which an individual with a disability is entitled to an assistance animal as a reasonable accommodation in a housing facility that would otherwise restrict or prohibit the presence of an animal. This rule applies only to tenants, prospective tenants and those authorized by the housing provider to live at the housing facility.

2. The proposed assistance animal must be necessary to afford the individual an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling or to participate in the housing service or program. This requires a demonstrable relationship between the individual's disability and the assistance the animal provides.

a. Housing providers are entitled to verify the existence of the individual's disability as well as the need for the assistance animal as an accommodation for that disability if either is not readily apparent. Accordingly, an individual proposing an assistance animal as a reasonable accommodation for a disability may be required to provide documentation form a physician, psychiatrist, or other qualified healthcare professional that the animal provides support that alleviates a symptom or effect of the disability.

b. Housing providers need not permit an assistance animal as an accommodation to a person with a disability if the provider demonstrates that allowing the assistance animal would impose an undue financial or administrative burden or would fundamentally alter the nature of the housing facility, program or service.

c. Housing providers are not required to provide an accommodation that poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others. Thus, if a particular assistance animal has a history of dangerous behavior, if the animal is out of control and its handler does not take effective action to control it, or if the animal is not housebroken, the provider is not required to accept the animal into the housing.

B. Relationship of this rule to other laws addressing service animals.

While federal and state fair housing laws and this rule establish the standards for assistance animals as a reasonable accommodation in housing, this rule does not apply to use of service animals in public areas, common carriers, public conveyances, public accommodations or places of amusement, which are governed by standards set forth in Utah Code Ann. Section 62A-5b-101 et seq., "Rights and Privileges of a Person with a Disability."

 

KEY: housing, fair housing, discrimination, time

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment: [October 7, 2005]2011

Notice of Continuation: November 30, 2006

Authorizing, and Implemented or Interpreted Law: 57-21-1 et seq.; 63G-4-102 et seq.

 


Additional Information

The Portable Document Format (PDF) version of the Bulletin is the official version. The PDF version of this issue is available at http://www.rules.utah.gov/publicat/bull-pdf/2011/b20110815.pdf. The HTML edition of the Bulletin is a convenience copy. Any discrepancy between the PDF version and HTML version is resolved in favor of the PDF version.

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For questions regarding the content or application of this rule, please contact Alan Hennebold at the above address, by phone at 801-530-6937, by FAX at 801-530-6390, or by Internet E-mail at ahennebold@utah.gov.