80 JULY 2019 • WWW.AAGLA.ORG Question: How many protected classes are there in California? Answer: In addition to the seven federal protected classes (race, color, religion, national origin, sex, familial status and disability) California has thirteen protected classes, some of which are unique to California. They are marital status, age, ancestry, sexual orientation, source of income, medical condition, gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, citizenship, immigration status and primary language spoken. California also prohibits discrimination based on the perception that someone is from a protected class or is associated with someone from a protected class. Finally, it prohibits discrimination on any arbitrary basis. Question: What is a request for a reasonable accommodation? Answer: A reasonable accommodation is a change or exception to the property’s rules, policies, practices or services that is necessary to afford a person with a disability full and equal use and enjoyment of the rental property. Question: What are some examples of reasonable accommodations? Answer: Common examples are allowing a resident to have an assistive animal, reserving a special parking space for a resident, allowing a resident who needs to move due to a disability to terminate a lease without further obligation for rent, or modifying a rent due date to coincide with the receipt of disability payments. Question: What is a request for a reasonable modification? Answer: A reasonable modification is a physical change to the apartment or the common areas that is necessary to afford a resident with a disability full and equal use and enjoyment of the rental property. Question: Who pays for a reasonable modification? Answer: Modifications are usually at the resident’s expense unless the property receives federal financial assistance in which case the landlord must make and pay for the modifications. The other exception is that if a newer property (built for first occupancy March 31, 1991 or later) was not built in compliance with accessibility laws in place at the time of construction, the landlord must pay to make it accessible. Question: What is an assistive animal? Answer: According to the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department (HUD), an assistive animal “is an animal that works, provides assistance or performs tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability, or provides emotional support that alleviates one or more identified symptoms or effects of a person’s disability. Assistive animals perform many disability-related functions, including but not limited to, guiding individuals who are blind or have low vision, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to sounds, providing protection or rescue assistance, pulling a wheelchair, fetching items, alerting persons to impending seizures or providing emotional support to persons with disabilities who have a disability- related need for such support.” Question: Can I require a renter pay a deposit for their assistive animal? FAIR HOUSING: Questions & Answers By Lynn Dover, Esq., Kimball, Tirey & St. John LLP Legal