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Inquiry to bring emotional support animal

Hi all,
We just an inquiry from a person wanting to bring their registered emotional support dog with them. Our listing does not allow pets. Ideally, people who want to travel with pets would search for the appropriate listings, but I can see that there may be an obligation for us to accept? What have others done in this situation?
Thanks!
Erica

Registered with who? In what country? In the US there is no registry…

I would find another reason to decline, block the date and say too late its booked.

Amazing they are not looking at pet friendly properties.

RR

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There is according to Airbnb policy not accord to law. River Rock gave some suggestions on discouraging them. What I have advised in the past is that you try to gently be discouraging in some way but don’t outright decline lest they complain with Airbnb. Just reply first don’t accept or decline. Then if desparate block off all or part of the time they want and hope they go book elsewhere.

Then again sometimes that doesn’t work. I had a guy with multiple questions and I finally blocked the day. I didn’t unblock it until the afternoon of the day he wanted to arrive and he booked it. LOL. He was a very good guest however and didn’t have a dog.

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Here’s my go to response I use all the time. I have yet to have an ESA as soon as they realize that they have to take the dog or animal with them everywhere they go, they look else where. Has worked for a few years with no issues from AirBnB.

Good evening XXXXX,

As you can see we have a no pet policy though we will accept a Service Animal, but you must answer the following questions. Do you have a disability? What tasks is the animal trained to do? We will also accept an Emotional Support Animal, but only with a doctor’s note that states it is medically necessary for you to have the support animal. As per AirBnB’s policy note that NO animal may be left alone at any time in the house. If this is not agreeable you must cancel this reservation within 48 hours to receive a full refund.

AirBnB;s Policy :

When can a host ask a guest to remove a service animal?

A host may ask a guest to remove a service animal if:

  1. The animal is out of control and the animal’s handler does not take effective action to control it
  2. The animal is not housebroken

In either scenario, the host must still give the guest the opportunity to use the premises without the animal if the guest so chooses. Note that given their role in providing service or emotional support, assistance animals should not be left alone at a listing.

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Do everything you can to discourage them, short of being rude or insulting.

This is really helpful everyone, thank you. It does appear that there is a distinction between a service animal and an emotional support animal from further digging into US and AirBnB policy. We were careful to not refer to the animal as a pet and did let them know that our unit isn’t really appropriate for animals.

Did they respond? If so, what was the response? If not yet, please let us know when you hear back from them.

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GRRR, I just had a HOST make a reservation and said she’s bringing her service dog. She asked first and I discouraged it and said we hope guests would book one of the many places that DO accept pets, but she ignored me and still booked. I have great respect for the job these animals do, and the people who need them, but there are plenty of places that do accept pets…why, why, why can’t they book those??

Because if a guest can get the exact place they want (price, location, amenities, etc.) regardless of pet restrictions and without consequences, then they will do it.

Also, I know from personal experience, when my wife and I would travel with our dog and/or with my in-laws and their dog, we would book STRs and hotels that allowed medium to large dogs they tended to be not as clean and overall not as nice as the places that didn’t allow pets at all.

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I had one person that wanted to bring her ESA dog tell me that she refused to stay in a place that accepted pets as they usually stink, are more run down and never as clean as places that don’t take them. When she found out she could under NO conditions leave the dog alone in the house and that I had plenty of staff always on property and would know if she did and would contact AirBnB to remove the dog ASAP, she cancelled within the 48 hour grace period.

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There is no ESA registry. If they have a letter from a doctor or medical facility, then it’s a legal “support animal” and by law you have to accept them.

I got one of those a while back and gently suggested that she try elsewhere. She had put service animal in quotes and lol after her request. Um, no. I’ll risk getting kicked off Air so I don’t have to deal with a barking chihuahua left in a crate whilst her owner runs amok.

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Which is why some here advocate blocking off some days for needed deep cleans and maintenance as soon as reminded to do so by service dog requests.

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For those hosting in their own homes, can’t you just state that a family member has a dog allergy?

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Yes but that’s almost never the case when people post here about the issue.

What law? A quick google search yields this:

Emotional support animals, comfort animals, and therapy dogs are not service animals under Title II and Title III of the ADA.

RR

You are correct. They only time a support animal is covered is under the FHA laws if you rent out more than 4 units or homes otherwise you are exemept.

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So true. In fact, it’s now usually easier to get a decent hotel room that allows larger dogs than it is to get a STR that allows larger dogs. A lot of hotels have relaxed their pet policies, I think to compete with Airbnb, and some don’t even charge fees for pets anymore. And it’s working. In a cross-country trip last year with our dog, we only stayed in a couple of airbnbs but lots of dog-friendly hotels.

When we opened our listing, one of my priorities was to have an airbnb that was truly welcoming to dogs and it’s worked out really well.

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I get a good number of last minute inquiries from people traveling/moving with pets. I absolutely feel I’ve gained more business than I’ve lost and even if I hadn’t. I’d much rather cater to pet lovers than cater to those who don’t or can’t like pets.

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You must also be owner-occupied for the Mrs. Murphy exemption.

However, the Airbnb rules are more extensive in this case and so the Mrs. Murphy won’t exempt you from having assistance animals at your airbnb. There are some other excuses like allergies or pets of your own though.

https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/1405/airbnbs-nondiscrimination-policy-our-commitment-to-inclusion-and-respect

Specifically, “hosts may not” * Refuse to provide reasonable accommodations, including flexibility when guests with disabilities request modest changes in your house rules, such as bringing an assistance animal that is necessary because of the disability, or using an available parking space near the unit. When a guest requests such an accommodation, the host and the guest should engage in a dialogue to explore mutually agreeable ways to ensure the unit meets the guest’s needs.*

Interestingly enough, you can use the Mrs. Murphy exemption to avoid renting to avoid hosting a children and infants and generally discriminate against age and familial status. Airbnb’s position on that specifically states “where the law allows” (e.g. Mrs Murphy exemption).

https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/433/can-children-travel-on-airbnb

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Well we are on-site hosts so I’ll also know for sure and told her that it must be with her at all times.

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