House File 90 - IntroducedA Bill ForAn Act 1prohibiting discrimination in housing provided to
2persons with a disability or disability-related need for an
3assistance animal and providing penalties.
4BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA:
1   Section 1.  Section 147.55, Code 2021, is amended by adding
2the following new subsection:
3   NEW SUBSECTION.  7A.  Knowingly disclosing the diagnosis
4or severity of a person’s disability or any medical records
5relating to the disability to a landlord in violation of
6section 216.8C.
7   Sec. 2.  Section 216.2, Code 2021, is amended by adding the
8following new subsection:
9   NEW SUBSECTION.  11A.  “Landlord” means any person engaging
10in conduct covered by the federal Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C.
11§3601 et seq., as amended, or section 504 of the federal
12Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. §794, as amended,
13including the owner or lessor of a dwelling.
14   Sec. 3.  Section 216.8B, subsection 1, paragraph a, Code
152021, is amended to read as follows:
   16a.  “Assistance animal” means an animal that qualifies as a
17reasonable accommodation under the federal Fair Housing Act,
1842 U.S.C.§3601 et seq., as amended, or section 504 of the
19federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C.§794, as amended,
20including an animal that does not require training to do work,
21perform tasks, provide assistance, or provide therapeutic
22emotional support by virtue of the animal’s presence which
23alleviates one or more identified symptoms or effects of a
24person’s disability
.
25   Sec. 4.  Section 216.8B, subsection 3, Code 2021, is amended
26to read as follows:
   273.  A renter is liable for damage done to any dwelling or
28to another person on the premises
by an assistance animal or
29service animal.
30   Sec. 5.  Section 216.8B, Code 2021, is amended by adding the
31following new subsection:
32   NEW SUBSECTION.  5.  A person who knowingly and willfully
33misrepresents, through conduct, verbal notice, or written
34notice, as using a service animal and being qualified to use a
35service animal, or an assistance animal under this section is,
-1-1upon conviction, guilty of a simple misdemeanor.
2   Sec. 6.  Section 216.8C, subsection 5, Code 2021, is amended
3to read as follows:
   45.  A landlord may request information necessary to verify
5and may
deny a request for an exception to a pet policy if for
6any of the following reasons:

   7a.  If the assistance or service animal poses a direct threat
8to the safety or health of others or poses a direct threat of
9physical damage to the property of others, which threat cannot
10be reduced or eliminated by another reasonable accommodation.
   11b.   Ifa person, who does not have a readily apparent
12disability, or a disability known to the landlord, fails
13to provide documentation indicating that the person has a
14disability and the person has a disability-related need for an
15
 each assistance animal or service animal requested to be kept.
   16c.  If the person does not provide proof of compliance with
17state and local requirements for licensing and vaccinating each
18assistance animal or service animal.
19   Sec. 7.  Section 216.8C, Code 2021, is amended by adding the
20following new subsections:
21   NEW SUBSECTION.  6.  Notwithstanding the authority to
22request information under subsection 5, a landlord shall not
23request information that discloses the diagnosis or severity of
24a person’s disability or any medical records relating to the
25disability. However, a person may disclose such information or
26medical records to the landlord at the person’s discretion.
27   NEW SUBSECTION.  7.  An assistance animal or service
28animal registration of any kind, including but not limited
29to an identification card, patch, certificate, or similar
30registration obtained from the internet is not, by itself,
31sufficient information to reliably establish that a person has
32a disability or a disability-related need for an assistance
33animal or service animal.
34EXPLANATION
35The inclusion of this explanation does not constitute agreement with
-2-1the explanation’s substance by the members of the general assembly.
   2The bill prohibits a landlord, to the extent required
3by federal law, rule, or regulation, to deny housing to a
4person with a disability or a disability-related need who has
5an animal that is required as support. Under current law,
6assistance animals are allowed as long as such animals qualify
7as reasonable accommodations under the federal Fair Housing
8Act. The bill defines assistance animal as an animal that is
9not required to be trained to assist a person with a disability
10but, by virtue of its presence, provides support to alleviate
11one or more identified symptoms or effects of a person’s
12disability.
   13The bill provides that certain licensed medical providers
14are prohibited from disclosing the diagnosis or severity of
15a person’s disability or any medical records relating to the
16disability to a landlord without the consent of the patient
17and are subject to licensing board discipline for violations
18of this provision.
   19The bill provides that a person who knowingly and willfully
20misrepresents as using a service animal and being qualified to
21use a service animal, or an assistance animal, is guilty, upon
22conviction, of a simple misdemeanor. A person convicted of a
23simple misdemeanor may be fined a minimum of $105 and a maximum
24of $855. The court may order imprisonment not to exceed 30
25days in lieu of a fine or in addition to a fine.
   26The bill allows a landlord to prohibit the animal if the
27animal poses a direct threat to the safety, health, or property
28of others and to request written documentation that reasonably
29supports that the person has a disability. If a person
30requests to keep more than one assistance animal, the landlord
31may request information regarding the specific need for each
32animal and may require proof of licensing and vaccination
33requirements for each animal. Current law provides that a
34landlord may deny a request for an exception to a pet policy
35if a person, who does not have a readily apparent disability,
-3-1or a disability known to the landlord, fails to provide
2documentation indicating that the person has a disability and
3the person has a disability-related need for an assistance
4animal or service animal.
   5The bill prohibits a landlord to request information that
6discloses the diagnosis or severity of a person’s disability or
7any medical records relating to the disability.
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