Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentLaw & Ethics · 3 years ago

Is my potential landlord denying me because of my service dog?

I recently applied to become a roommate with my longtime friends. It's officially my first time moving but I have been paying rent with my relatives. I applied 01.10.18 to become their roommate. After a few days I heard back and was told everything looked great and I brought up my concerns about my credit score being lower b/c of some emergencies/identity theft since the min requirement was a credit score of 650, mine was about 635, she said from what I can see everything looks great. I also let them know that I have a service dog, with all his proper paperwork. Everything seemed great and leasing gal says I should be good to go just need to have the owner sign off then have the roommates also sign.

A few hours later she calls back to ask me very specific questions about my dog, name, sex, breed, weight etc. I have a big Doberman male, again he is Trained and has all proper documentation.

An hour or so later she calls back to tell me I was denied by the owner, she left a voicemail saying that I was denied because of my credit and my employment history.

Which left me very confused because a few hours earlier everything was fine and also one of my roommates had a very low credit score when he first applied, lower than 600, and I have never been w/o a job, and have worked with my previous company for over 3.5 years and my new job I have worked since August but make good money. Not sure what to do, help! in Everett WA, with NO city restrictions for Dobermans! Thanks


To answer some questions:

My dog is a TRAINED service dog, from an actual trainer here in Seattle. I did not get something on the internet. I have paperwork meaning a valid doctors note, from the same doctor who prescribes all of my medication, as a SERVICE DOG.

There are 3 roommates living there, the one with bad credit score also had no previous tenant history and the credit score was still required when he applied.

What I will do is clarify my work history and get my credit score up.

Update 2:


I reached out to the leasing company, to try and talk to them, they have avoided all my calls but are emailing me back. I explained to them the misunderstanding of my employment history as I met their employment requirement. I asked when I would be able to re-apply b/c my credit should go up soon. They replied back that they are no longer allowing any more tenants, though the original lease had FOUR people and I would have been replacing the fourth person that left!!

Update 3:

Also, my friends currently living there have already had their lease renewed and have had ZERO issues with the owner and property!

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17 Answers

  • 3 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    If your animal is a registered service animal for a legitimate medical reason (ie blindness or mental retardation) then it is illegal for your potential landlord to refuse you housing because they are discriminating against your disability. However from the information you provided your bad credit may also be a major factor in your denial. I recommend that you offer to pay at least four months in advance ontop of your deposit. This will provide an incentive for the property owner to rent to you as it shows you have the money to pay the rent.

    Source(s): This is how I got my place with my bad credit. I offered to pay the year lease in full. I'm am now living at my apartment without having to worry about the rent because I'm paid up until August 12th 2018.
  • 3 years ago

    I think it is the dog breed that makes the landlord uncomfortable. just my thinking.

  • Anonymous
    3 years ago

    Even if they are what do you expect to do? Your credit is crappy and that is going to be their excuse.

  • 3 years ago

    I don't think so. If someone was going to lie about their reasons, it would not make sense to blame your credit. When they say that your credit was the reason, there are all sorts of undesirable legal implications. The only reason to say it was your credit would be if that was true. If they wanted to lie, it would have made more sense to make up something else.

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  • Anonymous
    3 years ago

    The owner was just being a pr!ck. They could have approved it. But... it looks like they were looking for any reason to deny your application.

    Maybe they want your potential roommates out. To accommodate single family tenants with impeccable credit.

    Source(s): Experience.
  • 3 years ago

    If they denied you for any other reason than the dog, and they can show it's legit, too bad. You never should have mentioned your credit. You gave them an out.

  • 3 years ago

    If the landlord says he denied you because of credit, then you have no proof that it was because of the dog.

    Your roommate may have got in before he changed he'd his policies on credit ratings... Or perhaps the roommate had a cosigner with good credit, or maybe the roommate had good recommendation from a previous LL. A landlord certainly is allowed to make discrimination based on a credit history, and can make it a case by case basis.

    Depending on what "paperwork" you submitted, that may have set off some red flags too. If you bought "paperwork" online, you do not have a legit service dog.

  • Athena
    Lv 7
    3 years ago

    "Proper paperwork" ???

    WHAT proper paperwork as there s no legal definition of a service animal yet?

    It sounds like the landlord (or is it just the office manager?) has a good case as you have no history she can rely on.

    You can take her to court but you have to prove it is the service dog and not the host of other things she mentioned.

  • 3 years ago

    The problem is that the burden of proving discrimination falls on you, and their case against you would unfortunately be pretty firm since to fight this you'd need to prove a history of the complex overlooking the credit score issue. And even then, what would you have gained?

    Certainly you could try to stand up for yourself by applying for legal assistance from the ACLU or some such organization. You might also see if someone in the local media with hear you out, or you could just take your case to the court of public opinion on Facebook. The landlord might concede just to avoid the aggravation. But, truthfully speaking, I feel like you should probably just look for a better place with a better landlord.

  • Anonymous
    3 years ago

    The landlord chooses not to have a dog on their premises, that is their right, or maybe one of your new room mates objected? there is nothing you can do except look for somewhere else,maybe on your own.

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