Author Topic: looking for help with Fake service dogs  (Read 513 times)

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Offline roommate105

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looking for help with Fake service dogs
« on: October 28, 2017, 02:20:11 PM »
I live in an apartment with three other people. It works that we each have a room with a lock and we all share a common space. When I moved in, I found out that one of the girls had a "service" dog. It's 8 months old, but she tells people it's over a year. She bought a vest off amazon and uses that. Whenever someone's asked if its a service dog she rants and cries until people stop asking. The dog only knows a few basic tricks, but otherwise doesn't perform any task. The dog has growled at my friends and my dad when they've come over to the apartment. It's peed inside a couple times, too.
But now she (and her boyfriend that we've kicked out for living off us) have gotten a german shepherd puppy that's just now turned 3 months. It pees everywhere, chews on things, and barks at anything and everything. They've bought another vest for this dog now too. They've admitted that they don't want to pay the pet deposit, and that they just want to take the dogs with them places.
My roommates and I have tried talking to them, but they have a little bit of a complex when it comes to someone disagreeing with what they're doing. I don't know what to do, or if there's anything I really can do. Please give your opinions. I wish I knew more about this stuff.

Online Kirsten

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Re: looking for help with Fake service dogs
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2017, 06:57:01 PM »
It doesn't matter whether they actually are service dogs or not. If they are not house broken or are aggressive, you can kick the animals out.

From a roommate perspective, it doesn't matter if they are legitimate service dogs or not. You don't have to agree to live with them. The catch is that you have already agreed to live with the first one.  The landlord is bound by the fair housing act. You, as roommates, are not.

I suppose the roommates agree on what they want and tell the pet owning roommate what the rules are. Then vote her off the island if she does not comply. This is contingent on what your existing agreement with her is and who is on the lease and what the lease says. It's complicated enough you should consult an attorney before taking any action. But you can still discuss whether it is enough of a problem you want to consult an attorney to actually do something about it.
Kirsten and Tardis
In loving memory of Cole (1/11/99 - 6/26/12)  He gave me back my life.

"The one absolute, unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world -- the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous -- is his dog." -George G. Vest

Offline Arrowcom

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Re: looking for help with Fake service dogs
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2017, 12:40:28 AM »
Does your landlord know the laws? Have they seen the damages the dog has done to the apartment? Would it help if we directed you to a print off of some laws that you could give to your landlord? Have you told them of the situation? If I were you and your other roommate, I would vote them out like Kirsten said. Even trying to ignore my extreme bias as someone who is hurt by people who pass their pets off as working dogs, the general mayhem these dogs seem to be causing is reason enough to kick them out, even if they were just pets. 
Accept the things you can not change, have the courage to change the things you can, and have the wisdom to know the difference.

Offline roommate105

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Re: looking for help with Fake service dogs
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2017, 12:46:48 AM »
The landlord kind of knows whats up. The office is run by student workers, and i'm sure they don't know what to do. The puppy isn't even supposed to be here. If you could point me to a list of laws and such, that'd be a lot of help.

Online Kirsten

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Re: looking for help with Fake service dogs
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2017, 09:22:27 AM »
It's not as simple as a list of laws. It's one law, the Fair Housing Act, aka Title 8 of the Civil Rights Act, except it never mentions dogs or animals of any kind. This is why you need an attorney, to help you interpret the law in your situation.

You could flip it on her and ask her to show you where in the law it says you must permit it.  Because it doesn't. The FHAct applies to landlords, not to roommates. That much is made clear in the act itself.

If you want to look through case law, rulings of different courts applying the FHAct in different situations, we have a collection of those on the front end of the site. But an attorney will do a much more complete search than you can do online. Only some courts release their rulings online. Lawyers can access them all, whether online or not. A lawyer is also specially trained to know how other laws interact and modify a law. For example, the ADA says businesses must permit service animals on their premises, but this does not apply to churches or private clubs. Why? Because of the first amendment to the constitution.
Kirsten and Tardis
In loving memory of Cole (1/11/99 - 6/26/12)  He gave me back my life.

"The one absolute, unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world -- the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous -- is his dog." -George G. Vest

Online Kirsten

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Kirsten and Tardis
In loving memory of Cole (1/11/99 - 6/26/12)  He gave me back my life.

"The one absolute, unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world -- the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous -- is his dog." -George G. Vest

Offline SandyStern

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Re: looking for help with Fake service dogs
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2017, 12:32:53 PM »
What kind of housing is this?  The reference to student workers made me wonder if it is something affiliated with a college, and THAT makes me wonder if you chose each other as roommates, or were assigned.  If you chose each other and this is a standard landlord-tenant relationship, then you and the other reasonable woman should tell Ms. Fraudster to get out now and take her boyfriend with her. If she refuses, then you should notify the landlord of exactly what's happening and give notice of your intent to vacate.  You can explain that the 2 good tenants want to protect the LL and the property from this situation, but you lack funds to evict her from her portion of the apartment, and this is the best you can do.


Offline roommate105

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Re: looking for help with Fake service dogs
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2017, 12:46:07 AM »
I live in a Campus Evolution complex, but it's not associated with the college. They had us fill out a preference sheet and I found out my placement on move-in day. In the lease, if we want to move we have to pay a vacating fee and a moving fee. CE has a deal that if the student tenants work in the office, they get a discount on their rent. 

Online Kirsten

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Re: looking for help with Fake service dogs
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2017, 01:04:28 AM »
You still don't have to agree to the second dog. By not objecting to the first, you might be stuck with it except you aren't stuck with it if it isn't house trained or is aggressive.

So far as the landlord is concerned, they don't have to agree with the second dog either. They already accommodated her with the first. The roomies could put their collective foot down and say no to the second dog and could tell her that if she doesn't fix the aggression and house soiling with the first, it will have to go too. Maybe put it in writing, all roommates sign it. Or put it in writing and affected roommates sign it and send to landlord, demanding to have fees waived because you did not agree to freeloader boyfriend or living in a zoo of dog feces and at risk from an aggressive dog. She's a toxic roommate. It's not really about whether either of the dogs is a legitimate service dog or ESA.
Kirsten and Tardis
In loving memory of Cole (1/11/99 - 6/26/12)  He gave me back my life.

"The one absolute, unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world -- the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous -- is his dog." -George G. Vest

Offline roommate105

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Re: looking for help with Fake service dogs
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2017, 06:49:32 PM »
My roommates and I wrote a complaint and all signed it. The landlord should get it tomorrow.

Online Kirsten

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Re: looking for help with Fake service dogs
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2017, 08:53:40 PM »
please keep us posted how it goes.
Kirsten and Tardis
In loving memory of Cole (1/11/99 - 6/26/12)  He gave me back my life.

"The one absolute, unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world -- the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous -- is his dog." -George G. Vest

Offline Arrowcom

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Re: looking for help with Fake service dogs
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2017, 10:33:28 PM »
Good for you! I'm happy you guys are sticking up for yourselves and not letting your roommate win!
Accept the things you can not change, have the courage to change the things you can, and have the wisdom to know the difference.