Community Associations May be Obligated to Accommodate a Disabled Resident, But that Does Not Mean that the Accommodation Can Negatively Impact Other Residents

The Los Angeles Times publishes a column entitled Rent Watch. Recently, the column addressed a situation where a tenant maintained in that tenants apartment a seeing eye dog that barked at night bothering the neighbor(s). The answer applies to community associations as well as rental units. Follow this link to read the selected Q&A.

As that column correctly indicates, while community associations (which are considered housing providers for the purpose of fair housing/accommodation matters) are required to reasonably accommodate disabled residents, the accommodation provided to a disabled individual must be “reasonable”. Quoting from the article, “If the dog’s behavior is an unreasonable nuisance to other [residents], the [association] is not obligated to ignore that.”

It may be necessary to contact the resident directly to advise them that while they are able to have their dog in their unit (which may violate the association’s governing documents) their dog is creating a nuisance and they have to deal with that and the dog will have to leave. Otherwise, their request to maintain their dog in their unit is not reasonable so long as it continues to bark and create a nuisance.

This post was prepared by SwedelsonGottlieb senior partner David Swedelson. If you have questions or comments, please direct them to David at

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