Woodstock Properties

The right choice when you need a professional to buy, sell, rent or manage your home.

Winter 2015

Linda C. "Dusty" Woodstock

98-211 Pali Momi Street.
Suite 430
Aiea, Hawaii 96701

(808) 488-1588 ext. 200



Our Team

Brett Schenk, REALTOR®
Licensed Hawaii Real Estate Broker
Property Manager

Carmen Magno, REALTOR®
Licensed Hawaii Real Estate Broker
Property Manager

Scher Webb, RA
Hawaii State Licensed Realtor
Property Manager

Sheryl J. Messamer
Hawaii State Licensed Realtor
Office Manager/Sales Associate

Lauren Hooser, RA
Hawaii State Licensed Realtor
Property Manager

April Tauzin, RA
Hawaii State Licensed Realtor
Property Manager

Penny Wilia

Don't Forget

Check Your Insurance: Events can happen - flood, extreme heat, hurricanes, fire, and more! It is important to check your insurance to obtain the best coverage possible and ensure that it is current. Review now with your insurance agent before a disaster/emergency occurs.

If An Emergency Occurs: Our first priority during any emergency is to handle the situation, taking any necessary measures for the safety of your property and your tenants. Then, we will contact you as soon as we are able.

Our Associations


Pets and Housing

You just received a call from your Woodstock Properties Inc. Property Manager. She called to inform you that the new tenant moving in has an emotional support animal. How can this be? We advertised the unit as not being pet friendly. How can this have occurred? When finding yourself in this situation, there are many aspects of service animal and emotional support animal laws to be familiar with. By law, we cannot discriminate against a prospect that has a service or support animal. So what rights do you as an owner have to protect your investment?

As an owner, you cannot deny housing to anyone with an animal that falls under the category of service or emotional support animal. A "no pet" policy for your unit, or even the entire building, does not apply to this group. However, there are many things you can do to make sure your rental does not lose value due to having an animal in the home. One of those things is documentation for the animal. For service animals you can request to know what job the animal performs for the disabled person. In some cases, such as someone that is blind, it may be obvious. For emotional support animals, you may request a note from a medical professional showing the need for the animal.

Another way in which to protect your investment is to be aware, that the animal must follow all local and federal laws. This means the owner must have them registered in the state of Hawaii, must abide by leash laws, and must pick up animal waste. The owner must have control of the animal at all times and be up to date on vaccinations. The animal must also meet minimum sanitary standards.

The last and most important thing that can be done to protect your investment is a very detailed move-in inspection. By using the latest software, such as Happy Inspector, Woodstock Properties Inc. Managers, document the condition of your unit before the tenant moves in using digital software with text and photos of the unit. Most inspections have a range of 50-100 photos. Having this very detailed document will make it easy to do any repairs to your home caused by an animal. These repairs are not limited to damage to the unit, but also cover deodorizing, professional carpet cleaning and pest control that can be charged to the tenant at move-out. This can give you peace of mind that your unit will be brought back to its original condition before an animal resided there.

There are many responsible animal owners who take care of their animals and are a joy to have as tenants. It is the few animal owners that do not care for their animals properly that make it difficult to rent to prospects with animals. It's these owners that we are concerned about. As an owner, knowing your rights and the laws can help you protect your investment from damage.

Fair Housing and Assistance Animals

The Federal Fair Housing Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504) protect persons with physical and/or mental disabilities. These same laws prohibit discrimination against tenants with service or support animals. The courts take this seriously and it is a huge liability to refuse to rent to a qualified handicapped person with a legitimate service or support animal. Fair Housing laws are very definitive regarding service animals. There are now other terminologies such as emotional support animals, companion animals, and psychiatric service animals. This can lead to a lot of confusion and misinformation for property owners when it comes to the various support animals and rental housing.

A service animal is one individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Tasks performed can include, among other things, pulling a wheelchair, retrieving dropped items, alerting a person to a sound, reminding a person to take medication, or pressing an elevator button. The Federal Fair Housing laws are specific regarding service animals. Service animals have also been referred to as assistance or assist animals, support animals, guide animals, and hearing animals.

An emotional support animal is a companion animal that provides therapeutic benefit to an individual with a mental or psychiatric disability. The person seeking the emotional support animal must have a verifiable disability (the reason cannot just be a need for companionship). Fair Housing views these animals as a "reasonable accommodation" and a "no pets" rule does not apply.

To qualify, a person must meet the federal definition of disability and must have a note from a physician or other medical professional stating that a person has a disability and that the reasonable accommodation (here, the emotional support animal) provides benefit for the individual with the disability. The emotional support animal alleviates or mitigates some of the symptoms of the disability. Companion or emotional support animals differ from service animals because no specific training of the animal is required.

A psychiatric service dog is one that assists people with psychiatric disabilities, such as severe depression, anxiety disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The key distinction to remember is that a psychiatric service animal is trained to perform certain tasks directly related to an individual's psychiatric disability. The dog's primary role is not to provide emotional support but to assist the owner with the accomplishment of vital tasks they otherwise would not be able to perform independently.

Under the Fair Housing Act, here are some of the rules that apply to service or support animals:
  • Any type of legitimate support or service animal is legally NOT a "pet."
  • Property owners and property managers cannot require or take additional deposits or pet deposits because of a support or service animal.
  • Property owners and/or managers can require any tenant, including the disabled, to qualify for properties based on income, rental history, and credit. They do not have to accept poor tenancy because an applicant is handicapped or has a service animal or companion animal.
  • Property owners and/or managers can require any tenant, including the disabled, to qualify for properties based on income, rental history, and credit. They do not have to accept poor tenancy because an applicant is handicapped or has a service animal or companion animal.
  • Property owners and/or managers must be very careful not to apply their own standard on determining whether a companion animal is justified.
  • Depending on the classification of the disability and specific law, an animal does not necessarily have to be a dog.

There is so much more to service or support animals than can be covered in this article and this is not meant as legal advice. If questions or problems arise, legal counsel versed in Fair Housing law should be consulted. What is important is that investors or managers who ignore or violate Fair Housing laws regarding any assistance animal are at very high risk. As your property management company, we take this subject seriously and work to follow all Fair Housing legislation and developments.

The material provided in this newsletter is for informational and educational purposes only. It is NOT legal advice.
Although we believe this material is accurate, we cannot guarantee that it is 100% without errors.

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