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Housing Law For Service Pets

Question: My condominium rules prohibit unit owners from keeping pets unless they are service animals or for medical reasons. What constitutes a “medical reason?”   Answer: Under the Federal Fair Housing Amendments Act, condominium boards must allow a reasonable accommodation for trained service animals or emotional support animals. While emotional support animals do not have to be trained, an applicant – in order to keep one in his or her unit – typically must show proof of a mental impairment that substantially limits his or her major life activities. Often this requires a written statement from a mental health professional.   For more information about Illinois law, visit If you have a legal question, send it to