Minnesota Fair Housing Spotlight: Pets and Service Animals

Nov 2, 2017


Welcome to Meaningful Connections Brand Consulting's insightful page on Minnesota fair housing regulations focusing on the inclusion of pets, service animals, and emotional support animals. As a trusted consulting firm specializing in business and consumer services - consulting & analytical services, we understand the importance of providing comprehensive information to help individuals navigate fair housing laws successfully. In this spotlight, we will explore the rights and responsibilities related to pets and service animals in Minnesota's fair housing landscape.

The Fair Housing Act and Pet Policies

Under the Fair Housing Act, individuals with disabilities have the right to reasonable accommodations to ensure equal access to housing. This includes the inclusion of pets or service animals as part of their housing arrangements. However, it is essential to understand that different rules apply to pets and service animals, and it is crucial to distinguish between them.

Pets in Fair Housing

When it comes to pets, landlords and property managers typically have the discretion to establish their pet policies. Some properties may prohibit all pets, while others may impose restrictions based on size, breed, or species. However, individuals with disabilities who require the assistance of a service animal or emotional support animal fall under different guidelines, granting them certain rights and accommodations.

Service Animals in Fair Housing

A service animal is not considered a pet and is protected under the Fair Housing Act. These animals are specially trained to perform tasks that assist individuals with disabilities, such as guiding individuals with visual impairments or alerting individuals with hearing impairments. Landlords and property managers cannot refuse housing or impose pet-related fees or restrictions on individuals with disabilities who rely on service animals.

Emotional Support Animals (ESA)

Emotional support animals play a vital role in providing comfort and support to individuals with emotional disabilities. Although they may not undergo the same level of specialized training as service animals, emotional support animals are protected under fair housing laws. Individuals with a verifiable emotional disability can request reasonable accommodations to keep an emotional support animal in their housing, even in properties with no-pet policies.

Reasonable Accommodations and Documentation

Property owners and managers are permitted to request documentation that verifies an individual's disability and the need for a reasonable accommodation involving pets, service animals, or emotional support animals. However, it is essential to note that they cannot require documentation for obvious disabilities or demand excessive personal information.

Responsibilities of All Parties

Ensuring a harmonious living environment requires cooperation among all parties involved. Let's explore the responsibilities of landlords, property managers, tenants, and individuals with disabilities:

Landlords and Property Managers

  • Grant reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities who require service animals or emotional support animals.
  • Notify staff and maintenance personnel about the presence of service animals or emotional support animals to prevent misunderstandings.
  • Adhere to non-discriminatory practices and avoid charging additional fees or deposits related to service animals or emotional support animals.

Tenants and Individuals with Disabilities

  • Provide necessary documentation to verify their disability and the need for reasonable accommodations regarding pets, service animals, or emotional support animals.
  • Ensure their service animals are properly trained and under control while in shared spaces.
  • Maintain clean and sanitary conditions, effectively addressing any damage caused by their service animals or emotional support animals.


At Meaningful Connections Brand Consulting, we recognize the significance of comprehensive knowledge about fair housing regulations, specifically when it involves pets, service animals, and emotional support animals. Our commitment to assisting individuals and businesses in understanding and navigating the complexities of fair housing laws ensures equal opportunities and inclusivity for all.

Fred Copper
Very informative! 🐾 Thank you for shedding light on fair housing regulations for pets and service animals in Minnesota!
Nov 8, 2023