Maine LD 221: An Act To Amend the Laws Regarding Service Animal Housing Accommodations

LD 221 (subjects: ANIMALS , SERVICE )

Official bill page at mainelegislature.org: http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/display_ps.asp?ld=221&PID=1456&snum=127


Sponsors | Actions | Bill Text | Patterns of Support


Sponsors

Principal Sponsor: Rep. John Picchiotti of Fairfield: (R – District 108) — e-mail | Twitter | Facebook

3 Cosponsors:

Actions

Chamber

Action
2/3/2015 House Committee on Judiciary suggested and ordered printed.
The Bill was REFERRED to the Committee on JUDICIARY.
Sent for concurrence. ORDERED SENT FORTHWITH.
2/3/2015 Senate On motion by Senator Burns of Washington, REFERRED to the Committee on Judiciary, in concurrence.
6/30/2015 Senate CARRIED OVER to any Special or Regular Session of the 127th Legislature pursuant to Joint Order HP 992. in concurrence
6/30/2015 House Carried over to any special and/or regular session of the 127th Legislature pursuant to Joint Order HP 992.
6/30/2015 Senate CARRIED OVER to any Special or Regular Session of the 127th Legislature pursuant to Joint Order HP 992. , in concurrence.
3/10/2016 Senate Pursuant to Joint Rule 310.3 Placed in Legislative Files (DEAD)

Bill Text

.

An Act To Amend the Laws Regarding Service Animal Housing Accommodations

Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:

Sec. 1. 5 MRSA 4553, sub- 9-E, A, as enacted by PL 2011, c. 369, 2, is amended to read:

A. For the purposes of subchapter 4:

(1) An animal that has been determined necessary to mitigate the effects of a physical or mental disability by a physician, psychologist, physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner or licensed social worker who is licensed by the state of residence of the person requesting an accommodation; or

(2) An animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a physical or mental disability, including, but not limited to, guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to intruders or sounds, providing reasonable protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair or retrieving dropped items; and

Sec. 2. 5 MRSA 4581, sub- 4, B, as enacted by PL 2011, c. 613, 10 and affected by 29, is amended to read:

B. Except as provided in section 4581-A, subsection 1, paragraph C and section 4581-A, subsections 2 and 3, this chapter does not apply to:

(1) The rental of a one-family unit of a 2-family dwelling for 4 families or fewer, one unit of which is occupied by the owner; or

(2) The rental of not more than 4 rooms of a one-family dwelling that is occupied by the owner.

Sec. 3. 5 MRSA 4582-A, sub- 2 and 3, as amended by PL 2011, c. 613, 13 and affected by 29, are further amended to read:

2. Accommodations. For any owner, lessor, sublessor, managing agent or other person having the right to sell, rent, lease or manage a housing accommodation or any of their agents to refuse to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices or services when those accommodations are necessary to give a person with physical or mental disability equal opportunity to use and enjoy the housing; or
3. Service animals. For any owner, lessor, sublessor, managing agent or other person having the right to sell, rent, lease or manage a housing accommodation or any of their agents to refuse to permit the use of a service animal or otherwise discriminate against an individual with a physical or mental disability who uses a service animal at the housing accommodation unless it is shown by defense that the service animal poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others or the use of the service animal would result in substantial physical damage to the property of others or would substantially interfere with the reasonable enjoyment of the housing accommodation by others. The use of a service animal may not be conditioned on the payment of a fee or security deposit, although the individual with a physical or mental disability is liable for any damage done to the premises or facilities by such a service animal. Upon request by an owner, lessor, sublessor, managing agent or other person having the right to sell, rent, lease or manage a housing accommodation or any agents of these, an individual who is requesting an accommodation for a service animal must provide a letter written by a physician, psychologist, physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner or social worker who is licensed by the state of residence of the individual requesting an accommodation that must contain the following:

A. The name and signature of the person writing the letter;
B. The professional license number of the person writing the letter;
C. A description of the service animal;
D. A description of any training the service animal has had to perform tasks for the benefit of the individual who is requesting the accommodation;
E. The name of the individual who is requesting the accommodation and a description of how that service animal mitigates the effects of the individual’s disability; and
F. A statement that the opinions expressed in the letter are based on the generally accepted standards of the person’s profession.

An owner, lessor, sublessor, managing agent or other person having the right to sell, rent, lease or manage a housing accommodation or any agent of these is not required to accommodate an individual who requests an accommodation for a service animal when that individual does not provide a letter pursuant to this subsection within a reasonable period of time; or

Sec. 4. 5 MRSA 4582-A, sub- 4 is enacted to read:

4. Security deposits and rent. For any owner, lessor, sublessor, managing agent or other person having the right to sell, rent, lease or manage a housing accommodation or any agent of these to charge a higher rent or security deposit on or to require renter’s insurance of an individual with a service animal unless the policy regarding the higher rent or security deposit or renter’s insurance applies equally to all animals or all animals of the same species as the service animal. Rent or security deposits charged pursuant to this subsection must comply with Title 14, chapter 709.

Sec. 5. 14 MRSA 6001, sub- 6 is enacted to read:

6. Presumption that an accommodation is not required. A presumption that a landlord does not have to make an accommodation for a tenant with a service animal pursuant to Title 5, section 4582-A is created when:

A. The service animal is found to be not in compliance with a state law or municipal ordinance and the tenant fails to bring the service animal into compliance with the law or ordinance within a reasonable period of time;
B. The service animal has been the subject of a citation by a law enforcement officer;
C. The service animal has caused or would cause:

(1) The insurance policy for the premises to be canceled;

(2) Coverage for the service animal to be excluded under the insurance policy for the premises;

(3) The insurance policy for the premises not to be renewed; or

(4) The premises to be uninsurable by an insurer licensed to engage in the business of insurance in the State;

D. The service animal has bitten or attacked a person or animal;
E. The tenant withheld information or provided false information regarding the tenant’s service animal on the tenant’s application or lease;
F. The tenant fails to remove and dispose of animal waste; or
G. The service animal poses a threat to other people or animals and the tenant takes no effective action to control the service animal’s behavior so that the threat is mitigated or eliminated.

summary

This bill amends the laws regarding housing accommodations for individuals using service animals. It exempts a landlord from having to comply with provisions concerning service animals when the landlord has requested from an individual seeking an accommodation a letter written by a licensed health care professional or social worker that sets out details about the service animal and why the individual seeking the accommodation needs the service animal if the landlord has not received that letter within a reasonable period of time. It creates a presumption within the laws regarding forcible entry and detainer that a landlord does not have to make an accommodation for a service animal when the service animal’s owner fails to comply with a set of requirements, including insurance coverage, sanitation and public safety. It allows a landlord to charge higher rent and higher security deposits and to require renter’s insurance for an individual with a service animal. It also changes the law concerning rentals of one-family units in 2-family dwellings exempted from the requirements of the Maine Human Rights Act by extending the exemption to rentals of one-family units in dwellings for 4 families or fewer.

Patterns of Support

Pattern of Cosponsorship by Region:

Pattern of Cosponsorship by Gender:

Pattern of Cosponsorship by Party:

Pattern of Cosponsorship by Campaign Finance Classification:

Note: Maine Clean Elections Act (MCEA) Qualified candidates only accept a small dollar value of initial contributions early in their campaigns, pledge not to accept further campaign contributions from private sources, and receive public funding for their campaigns. MCEA Non-Qualified candidates choose not to obtain public funding and instead are free to accept campaign contributions from individuals, party committees, political action committees and business sources.


This information about LD 221 was last updated on 2016-05-12.
The Open Maine Politics website is in a beta release and results should not be taken as definitive. Please visit the official website of the Maine State Legislature for entirely verifiable information.

Share this page…Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on TumblrDigg thisShare on RedditEmail this to someonePrint this page

Be the first to comment on "Maine LD 221: An Act To Amend the Laws Regarding Service Animal Housing Accommodations"

Leave a comment

Democracy thrives on participation; please share your thoughts!
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your email address will not be published.


*