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Possible New Rules for Support Animals in Rental Units Proposed

The legislature has approved new rules for how Iowa landlords handle requests from renters who ask to have an emotional support animal or a service animal in their unit. Senator Scott Webster of Bettendorf says it aligns Iowa law more closely with federal regulations.

Representative Jacob Bossman of Sioux City says the bill provides common sense guidelines for what kind of documents landlords can request from tenants who ask to have a service or support animal in their rental. The bill also outlines when landlords may reject requests due to safety or financial concerns.

Representative Josh Turek of Council Bluffs says there’s a need for more regulation on emotional support animals, because service animals are a lifeline for many individuals with a disability.

The bill would let landlords ask for documentation from a health care provider if a tenant’s need for an assistance animal is not readily apparent. The bill won unanimous approval in the House and Senate and it’s now headed to the governor for review.

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