SERVICE DOG application

I’ve been approached about renting my two roon London Notting Hill(i.e. city) flat to a couple with a trained service dog. I’d be grateful for some rules I can send as I have no dog and not the experience/imagination to think up the damage possible? Can I charge extra for the dog?

No, you can not charge nor can you deny. (At least in the USA). A true service dog (not an emotional support animal) won’t cause you any trouble. They are extremely well trained.

The one thing that you can say is that since it is a service dog, they dog must always be with it’s owner and not left in the home alone.

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@muddy has posted here Airbnb’s rules.

I wonder whether you might send the couple this message:

"I am delighted to be your host and your dog’s but want to make sure that you are familiar with Airbnb rules. They are:

  • A guest’s service animal must not be:
    • Out of control
    • Unhousebroken
    • Left alone at the listing without prior approval
    • Allowed into areas that are considered unauthorized to the guest
    • Allowed in a public space without being harnessed, leashed, or tethered and not under the guest’s control."

I’m a dog lover myself and know that service dogs are very well trained. Note that our House rules subject a violation of Airbnb’s service animal rules to be immediate cancellation without refund and a fine for any damages that are caused by the animal. Just a heads up. Please acknowledge by a return message that you’re OK with this."


So, then I would amend your rules now (before sending the message) to incorporate that language in your rules.

Also, if possible, I would install a camera, like a Ring doorbell cam, so that you can see whether the dog is being left alone.

I saw this in a group for hosts in the USA.

Do I think it is appropriate for all situations-NO. But it is something to think about.

From the post:
Send this to anyone who has a “service animal” upon booking

“It is our pleasure to accept your group and your service animal.
Please answer the following questions legally allowed by the ADA regarding your service animal.

  1. Is the service animal required because of a disability?
  2. What work or task has the service animal been trained to perform?

We do not charge extra for a service animal, nor do we increase the security deposit. Guest remains liable for any and all damage caused by people or the service animal.

Under the ADA, service animals must be harnessed, leashed or tethered, unless these devices interfere with the service animal’s work or the individual’s disability prevents using these devices. In that case, the individual must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal or other effective controls. The animal must be under control by the handler at all times therefore never left alone at any time.

If we discover a guest has misrepresented a pet as a service animal, we reserve the right to seek financial restitution, report fraudulent claims to government authorities and to evict the guest(s) without further notice.

In the latter case, there will be no right to a refund for unused rent.”

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Ask for documentation that pooch is actually a certified service dog.

This exists in the UK, but not in the US. Believe it or not there is NO documentation for certification for service animals in the US.

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If there is no certification, how do those who purchase a trained service dog confirm it is indeed a “trained service dog.” As a non-resident of the USA, I am constantly surprised at the widespread lack of consumer protection that is just taken for granted in other industrialized democracies.

Thanks for your suggestion!great idea!

Thanks for your suggestion!Good idea!

Thanks for your suggestion!Appreciate your info.

The Host is not permitted to ask this question. See Accessibility Policy - Airbnb Help Center

What we don’t allow:

  • For jurisdictions where Hosts are required to accept emotional support animals (unless the Host has an exemption) a Host cannot:
    • Charge pet fees, decline a guest, or apply different rules, treatment, or behavior to a guest traveling with an emotional support animal
    • Ask for information or documentation about a guest’s emotional support animal beyond the questions outlined above for service animals

Sorry, your information is out of date. AirBnB has recently changed its rules around emotional support animals.

This is the new policy:

Emotional Support Animal: An animal that provides companionship, relieves loneliness, or helps with depression, anxiety, or certain phobias but is not required to have special training to perform tasks that assist people with disabilities

  • What we allow:
    • Unless the reservation is a stay in New York or California (USA) or another location where applicable law prohibits it:
      • Hosts may charge pet fees for a guest who is traveling with an emotional support animal
    • Hosts are allowed to decline the presence of emotional support animals from a stay or Experience*
  • What we don’t allow:
    • For jurisdictions where Hosts are required to accept emotional support animals (unless the Host has an exemption) a Host cannot:
      • Charge pet fees, decline a guest, or apply different rules, treatment, or behavior to a guest traveling with an emotional support animal
      • Ask for information or documentation about a guest’s emotional support animal beyond the questions outlined above for service animals
    • For jurisdictions where Hosts are required to accept emotional support animals, a guest’s emotional support animal must not be:
      • Out of control
      • Unhousebroken
      • Left alone at the listing without prior approval
      • Allowed into areas that are considered unauthorized to the guest
      • Allowed in a public space without being harnessed, leashed, or tethered and not under the guest’s control”

Yes, indeed, it is a problem. It is a case of caveat emptor. This article sums up the issues nicely:

https://highlandcanine.com/how-to-identify-a-fake-service-dog/

Sorry this isn’t true. You can’t ask for proof of it being a registered service dog in the UK or elsewhere under Airbnb’s service animal policy. You can just ask what tasks the dog helps with and have the guest confirm as a service dog it will be with the owner at all times and not be left in the property by its self.

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You are quoting the policy for esas, not trained service animals. And what you quoted only applies to “juristictions where hosts are required to accept emotional support animals”.

You’re right that I quoted the wrong section.
But to @Sparky_O_Reilly 's thought that you can ask if it is actually a certified service dog, my understanding is that you cannot ask for service animal certification evidence.

What leads you to believe that?

In Canada, where my Airbnb is located, there is a form of certification for service dogs. I do not see anything in Airbnb regs against saying “certified service dogs are permitted.” If I am wrong, please point me to the appropriate reg so I can adjust to come in line with Airbnb policy.
Thanks

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I don’t know about Canadian law. In Massachusetts “No specific certification or registration is required; a note from a doctor or other provider that documents the connection between the individual’s disability and the need for the animal may suffice.” https://www.mass.gov/service-details/about-service-and-assistance-animals

Airbnb says: " * Hosts are only allowed to ask the following about a guest’s need for a service animal:

This article says:

In adherence to Airbnb’s nondiscrimination policies, guests are not required to disclose any paperwork or documentation for their animal when booking a property. However, property hosts are allowed to ask questions like the ones below:

  • Whether the animal is required due to a disability
  • What work or tasks the animal performs to help with that disability

“Aside from these questions, Airbnb hosts in the US are not permitted to ask for anything else such as certifications, proof of training, etc. For guests traveling outside the US, however, the policies might be different, so it’s worth checking the country’s animal laws first.

So maybe in Canada and UK you are permitted to ask that question; I don’t know. However, the Airbnb policy statement that “Hosts are only allowed to ask the following about a guest’s need for a service animal . . .” suggests that if ONLY those two questions are allowed, then you can’t ask about certification. However, I suppose you could argue that asking about the certification is not asking about “a guest’s need for a service animal.” But counter to that argument the actual permitted questions don’t relate to the guest’s need for a service animal but relate squarely on the service animal.

Maybe @JJD can give an authoritative answer for you in Canada, or interpret the Airbnb policy more cogently than I.

This is the quote that I was responding to. In USA at least – maybe worldwide depending how you interpret Airbnb policy that allows Hosts to ask only two questions about the guest’s need for disability, it is NOT permitted to ask for documentation that pooch is actually a certified service dog.

No, of course certified service dogs as well as uncertified service dogs are permitted by Airbnb policy at least in the U.S.