What is your policy on animals? No Pets/Animals but…

Posted on September 20, 2017

All Elkins Apartments leases have a No Pet/No Animal Policy. You may not have any animals in your unit under any conditions and for any reason whatsoever without prior approval.

We love animals! And we are happy to allow you to have a pet at many of our locations. However, you may not simply bring your dog, cat, rabbit, ferret, reptile, or whatever else you know and love, to your unit without prior approval. Doing so is a violation of the terms and conditions of your lease. And that’s not good….

What does the lease say about animals, pets, and you? Our lease reads substantively as follows (if this differs from your lease, your lease is the determining document):

Section 25. Pet Policy. Tenant agrees that NO PETS ARE ALLOWED unless both Landlord and Tenant have executed a Pet Lease Addendum in advance. Pets include but are not limited to dogs, cats, birds, and reptiles (fish are permitted). Pets cannot visit or be kept for vacationing friends or relatives. Landlord reserves the right to assess a Three Hundred Dollar ($300.00) fee per pet per incident for violation of this policy and to assess an additional fee of Fifty Dollars ($50) PER PET PER DAY, for each day beyond 5 days after notification of Tenant by Landlord of the violation, and continuing until such time as the tenant rectifies the Pet Policy violation by removal of the pet or, at the Landlord’s sole discretion, through execution of a Pet Lease Addendum. Assessment of such fees does not constitute an agreement to allow a pet. In accordance with applicable law, trained service and support animals providing assistance to Tenants with disabilities are not “pets”; however, individuals with service animals must request reasonable accommodation in advance and in writing, and must provide supporting documentation as allowable by law.

Are there exceptions to the No Pets policy? Yes. Some locations allow guests to apply to have a Pet. No Problem!

Some locations, at the discretion of the owner, and depending on the nature of the location, will allow residents to apply for a Pet Addendum to their lease. If this Addendum is approved, then it becomes a part of the lease agreement for the entire period of the lease. Each request is evaluated on an individual basis. Please contact the office to complete a Pet Addendum Request. Remember, until an Addendum is approved, any unauthorized animal is a breach of the terms and conditions of your lease.

What about an Emotional Support Animal?

Absolutely. We understand and fully support those who may be living with a medically diagnosed disability and for whom an animal may be an appropriate adaptation.

As defined by the Fair Housing Act, an emotional support/therapy/assistance animal may provide physical assistance, emotional support, calming, stability, and other kinds of support.  The presence of the animal must be necessary in order to provide the resident with a disability the use and enjoyment of the dwelling. There must be an identifiable relationship or nexus between the disability and the assistance or support the animal provides. Emotional support/therapy/assistance animals do not perform work or tasks that qualify them as “Service Animals” under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Those who wish to have an ESA are seeking an accommodation to our policies and procedures under Federal Law. Please note that in order to request an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) accommodation, you must complete an Emotional Support Animal Request for Reasonable Accommodation and all supporting documentation. This accommodation must be requested, evaluated, and approved in advance. The deliberative process that is necessary to consider a request for accommodation can take time. A resident should start the process of requesting an accommodation well in advance of when he or she would ideally like to bring the animal into the residence.

It is the policy of Elkins Apartments to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act as amended by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA), the Fair Housing Act, and other applicable federal laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability. In order to comply with federal laws, Elkins Apartments has established: (a) a procedure for requesting and obtaining approval of Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) so as to provide individuals with disabilities an equal opportunity to use and enjoy our housing; and (b) a policy for allowing Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) to remain in our housing once approved.

This policy explains the specific requirements applicable to an individual’s use of an Emotional Support Animal in our residences. Elkins Apartments reserves the right to amend this policy as circumstances require. This policy applies solely to Emotional Support Animals which may be necessary in our residences. It does not apply to “service animals” as defined by the ADAAA.

Although it is the policy of Elkins Apartments that individuals are generally prohibited from having animals of any type in our residences that do not allow pets (with the exception of fish), Elkins Apartments will consider a request by an individual with a disability for reasonable accommodation from this prohibition to allow an Emotional Support Animal that is necessary because of a disability and reasonable to the specific circumstances of the request. Each request will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. No Emotional Support Animal may be kept in a residence at any time prior to the individual receiving written approval as a reasonable accommodation pursuant to this policy. Elkins Apartments will not seek or require a fee or surcharge from an individual with a disability requesting the initial approval of an ESA or renewal of an Approved ESA. — From EA ESA Policies and Procedures

To learn more about how to begin the process of requesting reasonable accommodation for an Emotional Support Animal under the provisions of Federal Law, please contact the office for the application packet.

Please remember…

  • NO emotional support/therapy/assistance animal may be in a residence without it having been approved in advance as an accommodation for the resident by Elkins Apartments.
  • NO Guests of any resident may bring an emotional support/therapy/assistance animal into a residence.

Any animal present at a residence, without the necessary approval in advance, regardless of circumstances, will be considered an unauthorized Pet/Animal and is a breach of lease and subject to the all terms and conditions of the lease and of the No Pet Policy.

Elkins Apartments shall not discriminate or retaliate in any manner whatsoever against any person because that individual has requested or received a reasonable accommodation in residences, including a request for an ESA.


No animal will be permitted in an Elkins Apartments residence that:

  • Has not been approved in advance and in writing by the Elkins Apartments office
  • Poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others
  • Would cause, causes, or has caused substantial physical damage to the property or other residents
  • Would pose, poses, or has posed an undue financial and administrative burden to the Elkins Apartments
  • Would fundamentally alter the nature of Elkins Apartments housing operations
  • Is not allowed under the governing local, state, federal or other laws or regulations
  • Is not being cared for and controlled according to our Pet or ESA Policies and Procedures

We love Bunny, Fluffy, Taz, Bruno, and all the rest of the animal kingdom, but there are policies and procedures for a reason: to allow everyone to live safer, happier, and healthier lives. When in doubt, send us a note; however, in no event should you approach this as an “easier to ask forgiveness than permission” situation because any unauthorized animal will cause you to incur significant costs and possibly even eviction, even in cases where an animal might have been approved had you asked in the first place.