The Pet Policy set forth herein is reasonably related to the following legitimate interests of the HAO including, but not limited to:
- The HAO’s interest in providing a decent, safe and sanitary living environment for existing and prospective residents:
- Protecting and preserving the physical condition of the property of the HAO and the housing located thereon; and
- The HAO’s financial interests in the property administered by this Housing Authority;
- Comply with Fair Housing Laws related to the provision of reasonable accommodations to persons considered disabled under the disability/accommodation definition who qualify to receive such accommodation.
Persons who require an “assist”, “service”, or “support” animal to assist them with a disability may request that they be permitted to have the animal as a reasonable accommodation for their disability.
To qualify as a reasonable accommodation, the person must have a disability, and the accommodation must be necessary to afford a person with a disability an equal opportunity to use and enjoy their residence. To show that a requested accommodation may be necessary, there must be an identifiable relationship, or nexus, between the requested accommodation and the person’s disability. Thus, in the case of assistance/service animals, an individual with a disability must demonstrate a nexus between his or her disability and the function the service animal provides. The Housing Authority may not approve an accommodation request for a specific service, assist, or comfort animal if the animal would pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others especially if it has a history of dangerous behavior. An animal may also not be approved if the presence of the animal would result in substantial damage to the property of the HAO or anyone else, would pose an undue financial and administrative burden and/or fundamentally alter the nature of the Housing Authority’s operation. An accommodation for an “assist”, “service”, or “support” animal does not affect the resident’s obligation to comply with all applicable Federal, State, or local laws regarding the regulation, care and/or maintenance of their animal. (For further clarification see Federal Register, Volume 73, No. 208, page 63835, October 27, 2008.)
1. Pet Selection Criteria
A. Management Approval
Prior to a pet being accepted for keeping in a dwelling unit, the applicant/resident must submit a completed application to keep a pet, provide veterinarians pet check list (for dogs and cats only), and complete the pet owner’s emergency absence agreement. Upon approval by the HAO to have a pet, the tenant/applicant must sign the Pet Agreement Lease Addendum.
B. Management Disapproval
The HAO shall refuse to permit the pet if:
- The pet is not a common household pet identified more specifically in this policy;
- The pet owner fails to provide complete veterinary records requested or fails annually to update the vet records required (for dogs and cats only)
- The HAO reasonably determines, based on the pet owner’s habits and practices, including the owner’s past history as documented by their official file and inspection records, and or references from prior landlords, that the pet owner is unable to, or has a history of, noncompliance with pet rules.
- The following dog breeds are determined to be unsuitable for occupancy at any stage or age:
Rottweiler, German Shepherd, Pitt Bull, Chow, Doberman, St. Bernard, Dalmatian, Boxer, Retriever, Bird Dog and any mix of any thereof, any dog breed or mix with a history/reputation of violence; and/or any animal that will most likely, as determined by the vet, exceed the twenty pound weight limit set out below.
C. Location of pet apartments
All apartment locations and sizes are available for animals permitted under this policy.
Only common household pets will be permitted and the following guidelines will apply:
- All Animals: All animals must have adequate food and water at all times. All litter boxes, cages, aquariums, etc., must be kept clean at all times. Litter must be disposed of in closed, plastic bags and placed in the dumpster or trashcan on a daily basis. All cages, aquariums or other enclosures for animals must be of sufficient size that the animal can move about freely and have sufficient room to play and do what comes naturally to the breed. All animals are to be treated humanely at all times. Evidence that animals have been injured, or are ill, and are not being treated humanely will result in the Housing Authority immediately removing the animal and turning it over to Humane Society or animal shelter officials.
- The following applies to households with dogs and/or cats. A household may take one of the following options:
- one dog
- one cat
- two cats
- one dog / one cat
- Dogs are subject to the following restrictions:
- Maximum adult weight – forty (40) pounds;
- Must be housebroken;
- Must be spayed or neutered as soon as age allows;
- Must have all required inoculations/vaccinations/shots/parasite treatment. At a minimum these include: Puppies: complete series of puppy inoculations, multiple puppy worming, worm test. Adult dogs: rabies, distemper/parvo combination, fecal test for worms.
- Must be licensed if required by state law or local ordinance.
- Must be certified annually at time of annual re-certification to be current on inoculation/shots and to be free of disease/worms.
- Cats are subject to the following restrictions:
- Maximum adult weight – forty (40) pounds
- Must be spayed or neutered;
- Must have all required inoculations/vaccinations/shots/parasite treatment. At a minimum these include: Kittens: immunization series, worm test, feline distemper, leukemia, rabies. Adult cat: Distemper, leukemia, rabies, and fecal test.
- Must be trained to use a litter box;
- Must be licensed if required by state law or local ordinance.
- Must be certified annually at time of annual re-certification to be current on inoculations/shots and to be free of disease.
- Dogs are subject to the following restrictions:
- In addition to dogs and cats, residents may have any combination of birds, fish, and rodents:
- Must be enclosed in cage(s) at all times;
- Cages must be of regular size – not oversized
- Maximum number of cages in a unit: 2
- The number of birds in the cage must not exceed recommended number for cage size and type of bird. Cages must be kept clean.
- Maximum aquarium size – 20 gallons;
- Maximum number of aquariums in a unit: 2
- Number of fish must not exceed recommended number for aquarium size and type of fish
- Aquariums must be kept clean.
- (ONLY guinea pigs, hamsters, or gerbils are allowed)
- Maximum total number – four (4);
- Must be enclosed in cage at all times;
- Cage must clean at all times;
- Cages must provide sufficient room for animals to move about, play, and not be crowded.
2. Pet Deposits and Pet Fees
The resident shall be required to pay deposits and fees as defined below. Residents of Baker Drive or Adams Village and any resident who has been approved for a pet as a reasonable accommodation shall not be required to pay a pet deposit or monthly fee.
A. Dogs or Cats
- A refundable deposit of $250.00 (in addition to the required regular security deposit) will be made for the purpose of defraying any costs directly attributable to the presence of a dog or cat and for the cost of fumigation of the unit.
- The refundable deposit shall be paid in full on or prior to the day the pet or pets are brought into the dwelling unit.
- A monthly nonrefundable $10.00 “pet fee” for each dog or cat will be added to rent to partially cover the operating costs to the Authority relating to the presence of pets. In the case of tenants at ceiling or flat rent or for mixed families subject to the HAO’s maximum rent levels, the $10 fee will be in addition to the rent they are being charged.
B. All Other Allowable Pets
No deposit or monthly fee required. This Housing Authority reserves the right to change or increase the required non-refundable deposit and/or the fee by amendment to this policy.
C. Damages / Charges to Tenants
- The refundable deposit shall only be remitted to the resident family if the resident no longer has the pet, and in the event of a move-out by the resident, if the complete conditions of the dwelling lease and all other policies have been met, to include but not limited to a thirty (30) days written notice to vacate the unit. The deposit may be offset for repairs or cleaning/fumigation required as a result of the pet. No interest shall be paid on the refundable deposit(s).
- All expenses incurred by this Housing Authority as the result of damages directly attributable to the presence of the pet in the complex shall be the responsibility of the Resident; and these may include, but are not limited to: 1) Costs of repairs and replacement and cleaning of Resident’s Dwelling unit; 2) Fumigation of Resident’s Dwelling unit. Such expenses as a result of a move out inspection shall be deducted from the refundable Pet Deposit and/or the fumigation deposit and any other security deposit at move out and the resident shall be billed and owe any balance due.
- Resident’s liability for damages caused by his/her pet is not limited to the amount of the refundable Pet Deposit; and while the resident is in occupancy, he/she will be required to reimburse this Housing Authority for the total cost of any/all damages caused by his/her pet
- In the event that a resident shall fail to promptly pay this Housing Authority for the cost of any/all damages caused by his/her pet after being furnished with an itemized invoice of said damages, the resident shall pay all cost(s) and expenses, including court costs in the event legal action is necessary to collect said damages; in addition, failure to pay such costs shall be a serious and material breach of the lease which shall subject the resident to eviction.
3. Pet Rules
A. Pets to be kept inside apartments and under control of the resident: Pets must be kept inside the resident’s dwelling unit except when taken out on a leash by the resident. No pet may be allowed outside unleashed, or unattended, or tied in any way to any post/tree, etc. It is the responsibility of the resident to keep the pet(s) under control at all times, whether in or out of the unit. No pet shall interfere with the operations of the HAO at any time; inspection, maintenance and repair to units shall not be delayed or impeded because of any pet or resident and the resident is responsible for keeping their pet(s) under control so that HAO employees/agents may conduct and complete their work.
B. The pet must be fed and watered inside the dwelling unit; and no pet food or water may be left outside the dwelling unit at any time. All animals must have sufficient food and water at all times.
C. Inspections/Maintenance Work Situations: At any time a HAO employee/agent enters the dwelling unit with notice, if there is a dog or cat in the apartment, the resident shall have caged it, or on a short (2-foot) lead, or confined it to a room where no maintenance/repair work is required until all work is complete. In the event an inspection or maintenance work cannot be completed because of the presence or conduct of the animal, the resident will be required to permanently remove the pet, or the resident will be evicted. Depending on the circumstances, the HAO may for the first such occurrence permit the resident to pay a $50.00 service fee to cover the HAO’s additional cost in rescheduling the work/inspection. Under no circumstances shall the HAO be responsible for the escape or loss of any animal during a noticed inspection/maintenance call, or for the escape or loss of any animal that cannot be confined during an emergency/unannounced inspection or maintenance work. Noticed inspections include, but are not limited to, all inspections regularly scheduled by the HAO, all inspections announced in the newsletter for regular/preventive maintenance purposes, all REAC and all HUD related inspections.
D. Leash requirement: When outside the dwelling unit dogs and cats must be kept on a leash or carried, and under the control of the resident or other responsible individual at all times. Dogs should be walked (always on a leash) and curbed away from the buildings, sidewalks, streets and other common walking areas. The leash must be appropriate for the size and weight of the animal and not to exceed six (6) feet in length.
E. “Pooper-Scooper” Requirement: Resident must scoop up and place pet waste in a plastic bag which must be tied and deposited in their own apartment’s trash, or in the dumpsters located on site. Under no circumstances will pets be allowed to urinate/defecate on or near the shrubbery and/or trees located on the property, nor within 50 feet of any playground area. No animal shall be permitted to defecate or urinate on decks or patios.
F. Litter Box Requirements for Cats: Litter from litter boxes shall be disposed of in sealed plastic trash bags and placed in the dumpsters on site with the apartments usual trash. Litter shall be changed at least once weekly and as often as necessary to insure safety and odor control. Litter shall not be disposed of by being flushed down the toilet. Charges for unclogging the toilet due to the improper disposal of pet waste shall be billed to the resident. Litter boxes shall be kept inside the resident’s dwelling unit at all times.
G. Resident agrees to control the noise of his/her pet so that such noise does not constitute a nuisance to other residents or interrupt their peaceful enjoyment of their dwelling units.
H. Any pet that causes bodily injury to any resident, guest, staff member, or other authorized person on the premises, may be immediately and permanently removed from the premises without prior notification to the tenant. The HAO may choose to remove the animal or have it removed at the owner’s expense.
In determining whether an animal will be removed from a residence several factors may be considered, including, whether the owner was in compliance with the requirements of the HAO Pet Policy when the incident occurred, where, and under what circumstances the incident occurred, whether the animal has a history of similar injurious behavior, and the possibility that a similar incident could happen in the future. (For example, was the animal on a leash or otherwise restrained when it injured someone? Was the animal inside the residence or left unattended outside? Was there any provocation of the animal before it bit an individual?) An animal that was left outside unattended when the incident occurred will most likely not be allowed to remain in the household. Also, an animal that has previously caused injury will likely be removed from the home. The decision of whether or not an animal remains in the residence will be at the discretion of the Housing Authority.
If the resident returns the animal to the residence after it has been removed, or if the resident refuses to remove the animal from the residence, the HAO will pursue eviction proceedings for violation of the lease and the HAO Pet Policy and will provide the resident with a shortened notice of eviction period.
I. Dogs shall never be left unattended in any unit for a period in excess of ten (10) hours. Cats shall never be left unattended in any dwelling unit for a period in excess of twenty-four (24) hours.
J. All residents shall be responsible for adequate care, nutrition, exercise and medical attention of his/her pet. Any animal not being cared for properly will be removed.
K. Resident must be aware and recognize that other residents may have chemical sensitivities or allergies related to pets or may be easily frightened and/or disoriented by animals. The resident agrees to exercise common sense and common courtesy with respect to such other resident’s right to the peaceful and quiet enjoyment of common areas and his/her dwelling unit. If the pet causes a disruption of other resident’s right to peaceful enjoyment of their premises, the pet will have to be removed, and, the pet owner may be evicted.
L. Resident shall take adequate precautions to prevent and eliminate any pet odors within or around the dwelling unit and to maintain the dwelling unit in a sanitary condition at all times.
M. All dogs and cats must be treated with flea and tick medication, such as “Advantage,” or by other methods, and as frequently as required by the medication. The resident must provide documentation to the HAO that they have treated their animals for fleas and ticks.
N. Visiting pets, as well as pets of visitors/guests are strictly prohibited, with the exception of disabled persons’ service animals, which must also be certified as such.
O. Residents are prohibited from feeding or harboring stray animals. The feeding of stray animals shall constitute having a pet without the written permission of this Housing Authority.
P. If there is any indication of flea, tick, or other pet related infestation in the apartment, the HAO will immediately cause the unit to be fumigated and de-infested. Any animals in the unit must be removed immediately, if not, the HAO may remove the animals to the shelter. The animals will not be permitted to be returned to the apartment at any time. The expense of de-infestation of fleas in the resident’s dwelling unit shall be the responsibility of the resident and will be deducted from the resident’s pet and security deposits. Should the deposit amount fall below the HAO’s basic security deposit, the resident will be required to pay to the HAO the amount necessary to replenish the resident’s security deposit to the current basic security deposit requirement.
Q. Resident shall not alter his/her dwelling unit, patio, deck, or common areas to create an enclosure for his/her pet.
R. No pets may be on playground areas.
S. All residents with pets are subject to the provisions of the City of Owensboro/Daviess County Animal Control Ordinance; to the extent it is more restrictive than this policy, the Ordinance shall control. The ordinance is incorporated into this policy and made a part hereof as if fully set out, as are amendments thereto. It is the responsibility of the resident to remain in compliance with the Ordinance, as amended, and the resident understands that the HAO will not have public hearings on changes to the Ordinance, and changes to the Ordinance will become part of this policy upon the effective date of the amended Ordinance.
T. Residents shall assume sole responsibility for liability arising from any injury sustained by any person attributable to his/her pet.
4. Responsible Parties
The resident will be required to designate two (2) responsible persons for the care of the pet if the health or safety of the pet is threatened by the death or incapacitation of the resident, or by other factors that render the resident unable to care for the pet.
This Housing Authority may, after reasonable notice to the resident, during reasonable hours, enter and inspect the dwelling unit, in addition to other regularly scheduled inspections. This Housing Authority, without prior notice to the tenant, may enter and inspect the dwelling unit if this Housing Authority has received a complaint alleging that the conduct or condition of the pet in the dwelling unit constitutes a nuisance or threat to the health or safety of the animal, or to the occupants of the complex or other persons in the complex or other persons in the community under applicable law. Evidence that the Housing Authority may use to determine an emergency inspection must be conducted include, but are not limited to, excessive barking or other unusual sounds, odor, apparent abandonment of the animal, suspected abuse or neglect of an animal, etc.
A. Vicious Animals
Pets who become vicious or display symptoms of severe illness or demonstrate other behaviors that constitutes a threat to the health or safety of the will be referred to the proper authority to remove these pets who exhibit this behavior.
B. Unit Emergencies
In the event of an emergency which requires response to a resident’s dwelling unit by management, maintenance, fire or medical personnel, responding personnel shall not be responsible for locating or returning pets who escape from the dwelling unit during the emergency.
C. Building Emergencies
In the event of a building emergency such as fire or flood (but not limited to these particular emergencies), the responding building personnel or outside building personnel (i.e. fire department, managing agent, or others) shall first evacuate residents and guests/visitors, and then, if possible, pets. This Housing Authority is not responsible for pets unable to be rescued in the event of such an emergency.
7. Hold Harmless & Indemnification
Each resident of the dwelling unit shall hold harmless and indemnify the HAO, it’s representatives, agents, employees and contractors from any of the following:
A. Loss/Injury of a Pet
The HAO shall not be responsible for the loss or expiration of the life of any pet.
B. Loss/Injury by a Pet
If any other person is harmed or is caused to be harmed by the actions of any pet, the owner/applicant of the pet shall indemnify the Housing Authority, it’s representatives, agents, employees and contractors from any and all liability, court costs, attorney fees and any other costs the court deems just and proper. The lessee shall save harmless the HAO against claims for injuries to persons or property on the premises.