Q&A: “No pets” in rental ad

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From the Perry County News (Tell City):

Q: Is there a problem with including the words “no pets” in a rental property advertisement?  

A: The Indiana Civil Rights Commission looks at the words “no pets” as potentially discriminating against people with disabilities because they might use a service animal to help with tasks.

The Civil Rights Commis­sion recommends newspapers use “service animals only” as a substitute for “no pets.”

This protects the disabled from discrimination and protects both the landlord and the newspaper from possible liability under the Fair Housing Act.

The client might complain over the additional cost of one word in the classified ad, but that’s a lot less expensive than a Fair Housing Act complaint settlement.

Contact Steve Key, HSPA executive director and general counsel, with media law questions at skey@hspa.com or (317) 624-4427.

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