Florida Senate - 2020 SB 1084
By Senator Diaz
1 A bill to be entitled
2 An act relating to emotional support animals; creating
3 s. 760.27, F.S.; providing definitions; prohibiting
4 discrimination in the rental of a dwelling to a person
5 with a disability or a disability-related need who has
6 an emotional support animal; prohibiting a landlord
7 from requiring such person to pay extra compensation
8 for such animal; providing an exception; authorizing a
9 landlord to request certain written documentation
10 under certain circumstances; authorizing the
11 Department of Health to adopt rules; prohibiting the
12 falsification of written documentation or other
13 misrepresentation regarding the use of an emotional
14 support animal; providing penalties; specifying that a
15 person with a disability or a disability-related need
16 is liable for certain damage done by her or his
17 emotional support animal; exempting a landlord from
18 certain liability; providing applicability; amending
19 s. 413.08, F.S.; providing applicability; amending s.
20 419.001, F.S.; conforming terminology to changes made
21 by the act; conforming a cross-reference; amending s.
22 760.22, F.S.; updating terminology; amending s.
23 760.29, F.S.; extending specified exemptions to
24 conform to changes made by the act; conforming
25 terminology to changes made by the act; amending ss.
26 760.23, 760.24, 760.25, and 760.31, F.S.; conforming
27 terminology to changes made by the act; providing an
28 effective date.
30 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
32 Section 1. Section 760.27, Florida Statutes, is created to
34 760.27 Prohibited discrimination in the rental of housing
35 to persons with a disability or disability-related need who use
36 an emotional support animal.—
37 (1) As used in this section, the term:
38 (a) “Emotional support animal” means an animal that does
39 not require training to do specific work or perform special
40 tasks for a person with a disability but, by virtue of its
41 presence, provides support to alleviate one or more identified
42 symptoms or effects of a person’s disability.
43 (b) “Landlord” means the owner or lessor of a dwelling.
44 (2) To the extent required by federal law, rule, or
45 regulation, it is unlawful to discriminate in the rental of a
46 dwelling to a person with a disability or disability-related
47 need who has or obtains an emotional support animal. A person
48 with a disability or a disability-related need must, upon
49 request, be allowed to keep such animal in the dwelling as a
50 reasonable accommodation in housing, and such person may not be
51 required to pay extra compensation for such animal.
52 (3) Unless otherwise prohibited by federal law, rule, or
53 regulation, a landlord may:
54 (a) Prohibit an emotional support animal if such animal
55 poses a direct threat to the safety or health of others or poses
56 a direct threat of physical damage to the property of others
57 which cannot be reduced or eliminated by another reasonable
59 (b) If a person’s disability or disability-related need is
60 not readily apparent, request written documentation prepared by
61 a health care practitioner, as defined in s. 456.001, which
62 verifies that the person has a disability or a disability
63 related need and has been under the practitioner’s care or
64 treatment for such disability or need, and the animal provides
65 support to alleviate one or more identified symptoms or effects
66 of the person’s disability or disability-related need. If a
67 person requests to keep more than one emotional support animal,
68 the landlord may request such written documentation establishing
69 the need for each animal. The written documentation must be
70 prepared in a format prescribed by the Department of Health in
71 rule and may not be prepared by a health care practitioner whose
72 exclusive service to the person with a disability is preparation
73 of the written documentation in exchange for a fee. The
74 department may adopt rules to administer this paragraph.
75 (c) Require proof of compliance with state and local
76 requirements for licensing and vaccination of an emotional
77 support animal.
78 (4) A person who falsifies written documentation, as
79 described in subsection (3), for an emotional support animal or
80 otherwise knowingly and willfully misrepresents herself or
81 himself, through conduct or verbal or written notice, as having
82 a disability or disability-related need and being qualified to
83 use an emotional support animal commits a misdemeanor of the
84 second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s.
85 775.083, and must perform 30 hours of community service for an
86 organization that serves persons with disabilities or for
87 another entity or organization at the discretion of the court,
88 to be completed within 6 months after conviction.
89 (5)(a) A person with a disability or disability-related
90 need is liable for any damage done to the premises or to another
91 person on the premises by her or his emotional support animal.
92 (b) A landlord is not liable for any damage done to the
93 premises or to any person on the premises by an emotional
94 support animal that is authorized as a reasonable accommodation
95 for a person with a disability or disability-related need under
96 this section, the federal Fair Housing Act, s. 504 of the
97 Rehabilitation Act of 1973, or any other federal, state, or
98 local law.
99 (6) This section does not apply to a service animal as
100 defined in s. 413.08.
101 Section 2. Paragraph (b) of subsection (6) of section
102 413.08, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
103 413.08 Rights and responsibilities of an individual with a
104 disability; use of a service animal; prohibited discrimination
105 in public employment, public accommodations, and housing
106 accommodations; penalties.—
107 (6) An individual with a disability is entitled to rent,
108 lease, or purchase, as other members of the general public, any
109 housing accommodations offered for rent, lease, or other
110 compensation in this state, subject to the conditions and
111 limitations established by law and applicable alike to all
113 (b) An individual with a disability who has a service
114 animal or who obtains a service animal is entitled to full and
115 equal access to all housing accommodations provided for in this
116 section, and such individual
a person may not be required to pay
117 extra compensation for such animal. However, such individual a
118 person is liable for any damage done to the premises or to
119 another individual person on the premises by the animal. A
120 housing accommodation may request proof of compliance with
121 vaccination requirements. This paragraph does not apply to an
122 emotional support animal as defined in s. 760.27.
123 Section 3. Paragraph (e) of subsection (1) of section
124 419.001, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
125 419.001 Site selection of community residential homes.—
126 (1) For the purposes of this section, the term:
127 (e) “Resident” means any of the following: a frail elder as
128 defined in s. 429.65; a person who has a disability handicap as
129 defined in s. 760.22(3)(a) s. 760.22(7)(a); a person who has a
130 developmental disability as defined in s. 393.063; a
131 nondangerous person who has a mental illness as defined in s.
132 394.455; or a child who is found to be dependent as defined in
133 s. 39.01 or s. 984.03, or a child in need of services as defined
134 in s. 984.03 or s. 985.03.
135 Section 4. Present subsections (3) through (6) of section
136 760.22, Florida Statutes, are redesignated as subsections (4)
137 through (7), respectively, and present subsection (7) of that
138 section is amended, to read:
139 760.22 Definitions.—As used in ss. 760.20-760.37, the term:
140 (3) (7) “Disability” “Handicap” means:
141 (a) A person has a physical or mental impairment which
142 substantially limits one or more major life activities, or he or
143 she has a record of having, or is regarded as having, such
144 physical or mental impairment; or
145 (b) A person has a developmental disability as defined in
146 s. 393.063.
147 Section 5. Section 760.23, Florida Statutes, is amended to
149 760.23 Discrimination in the sale or rental of housing and
150 other prohibited practices.—
151 (1) It is unlawful to refuse to sell or rent after the
152 making of a bona fide offer, to refuse to negotiate for the sale
153 or rental of, or otherwise to make unavailable or deny a
154 dwelling to any person because of race, color, national origin,
155 sex, disability handicap, familial status, or religion.
156 (2) It is unlawful to discriminate against any person in
157 the terms, conditions, or privileges of sale or rental of a
158 dwelling, or in the provision of services or facilities in
159 connection therewith, because of race, color, national origin,
160 sex, disability handicap, familial status, or religion.
161 (3) It is unlawful to make, print, or publish, or cause to
162 be made, printed, or published, any notice, statement, or
163 advertisement with respect to the sale or rental of a dwelling
164 that indicates any preference, limitation, or discrimination
165 based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability handicap,
166 familial status, or religion or an intention to make any such
167 preference, limitation, or discrimination.
168 (4) It is unlawful to represent to any person because of
169 race, color, national origin, sex, disability handicap, familial
170 status, or religion that any dwelling is not available for
171 inspection, sale, or rental when such dwelling is in fact so
173 (5) It is unlawful, for profit, to induce or attempt to
174 induce any person to sell or rent any dwelling by a
175 representation regarding the entry or prospective entry into the
176 neighborhood of a person or persons of a particular race, color,
177 national origin, sex, disability handicap, familial status, or
179 (6) The protections afforded under ss. 760.20-760.37
180 against discrimination on the basis of familial status apply to
181 any person who is pregnant or is in the process of securing
182 legal custody of any individual who has not attained the age of
183 18 years.
184 (7) It is unlawful to discriminate in the sale or rental
185 of, or to otherwise make unavailable or deny, a dwelling to any
186 buyer or renter because of a disability handicap of:
187 (a) That buyer or renter;
188 (b) A person residing in or intending to reside in that
189 dwelling after it is sold, rented, or made available; or
190 (c) Any person associated with the buyer or renter.
191 (8) It is unlawful to discriminate against any person in
192 the terms, conditions, or privileges of sale or rental of a
193 dwelling, or in the provision of services or facilities in
194 connection with such dwelling, because of a disability handicap
196 (a) That buyer or renter;
197 (b) A person residing in or intending to reside in that
198 dwelling after it is sold, rented, or made available; or
199 (c) Any person associated with the buyer or renter.
200 (9) For purposes of subsections (7) and (8), discrimination
202 (a) A refusal to permit, at the expense of the handicapped
203 person with a disability, reasonable modifications of existing
204 premises occupied or to be occupied by such person if such
205 modifications may be necessary to afford such person full
206 enjoyment of the premises; or
207 (b) A refusal to make reasonable accommodations in rules,
208 policies, practices, or services, when such accommodations may
209 be necessary to afford such person equal opportunity to use and
210 enjoy a dwelling.
211 (10) Covered multifamily dwellings as defined herein which
212 are intended for first occupancy after March 13, 1991, shall be
213 designed and constructed to have at least one building entrance
214 on an accessible route unless it is impractical to do so because
215 of the terrain or unusual characteristics of the site as
216 determined by commission rule. Such buildings shall also be
217 designed and constructed in such a manner that:
218 (a) The public use and common use portions of such
219 dwellings are readily accessible to and usable by handicapped
220 persons with disabilities.
221 (b) All doors designed to allow passage into and within all
222 premises within such dwellings are sufficiently wide to allow
223 passage by a person in a wheelchair.
224 (c) All premises within such dwellings contain the
225 following features of adaptive design:
226 1. An accessible route into and through the dwelling.
227 2. Light switches, electrical outlets, thermostats, and
228 other environmental controls in accessible locations.
229 3. Reinforcements in bathroom walls to allow later
230 installation of grab bars.
231 4. Usable kitchens and bathrooms such that a person in a
232 wheelchair can maneuver about the space.
233 (d) Compliance with the appropriate requirements of the
234 American National Standards Institute for buildings and
235 facilities providing accessibility and usability for persons
236 with a physical disability physically handicapped people,
237 commonly cited as ANSI A117.1-1986, suffices to satisfy the
238 requirements of paragraph (c).
240 State agencies with building construction regulation
241 responsibility or local governments, as appropriate, shall
242 review the plans and specifications for the construction of
243 covered multifamily dwellings to determine consistency with the
244 requirements of this subsection.
245 Section 6. Section 760.24, Florida Statutes, is amended to
247 760.24 Discrimination in the provision of brokerage
248 services.—It is unlawful to deny any person access to, or
249 membership or participation in, any multiple-listing service,
250 real estate brokers’ organization, or other service,
251 organization, or facility relating to the business of selling or
252 renting dwellings, or to discriminate against him or her in the
253 terms or conditions of such access, membership, or
254 participation, on account of race, color, national origin, sex,
255 disability handicap, familial status, or religion.
256 Section 7. Subsection (1) and paragraph (a) of subsection
257 (2) of section 760.25, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
258 760.25 Discrimination in the financing of housing or in
259 residential real estate transactions.—
260 (1) It is unlawful for any bank, building and loan
261 association, insurance company, or other corporation,
262 association, firm, or enterprise the business of which consists
263 in whole or in part of the making of commercial real estate
264 loans to deny a loan or other financial assistance to a person
265 applying for the loan for the purpose of purchasing,
266 constructing, improving, repairing, or maintaining a dwelling,
267 or to discriminate against him or her in the fixing of the
268 amount, interest rate, duration, or other term or condition of
269 such loan or other financial assistance, because of the race,
270 color, national origin, sex, disability handicap, familial
271 status, or religion of such person or of any person associated
272 with him or her in connection with such loan or other financial
273 assistance or the purposes of such loan or other financial
274 assistance, or because of the race, color, national origin, sex,
275 disability handicap, familial status, or religion of the present
276 or prospective owners, lessees, tenants, or occupants of the
277 dwelling or dwellings in relation to which such loan or other
278 financial assistance is to be made or given.
279 (2)(a) It is unlawful for any person or entity whose
280 business includes engaging in residential real estate
281 transactions to discriminate against any person in making
282 available such a transaction, or in the terms or conditions of
283 such a transaction, because of race, color, national origin,
284 sex, disability handicap, familial status, or religion.
285 Section 8. Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) and paragraph
286 (a) of subsection (5) of section 760.29, Florida Statutes, are
287 amended to read:
288 760.29 Exemptions.—
289 (1)(a) Nothing in ss. 760.23, and 760.25, and 760.27
290 applies to:
291 1. Any single-family house sold or rented by its owner,
292 provided such private individual owner does not own more than
293 three single-family houses at any one time. In the case of the
294 sale of a single-family house by a private individual owner who
295 does not reside in such house at the time of the sale or who was
296 not the most recent resident of the house prior to the sale, the
297 exemption granted by this paragraph applies only with respect to
298 one sale within any 24-month period. In addition, the bona fide
299 private individual owner shall not own any interest in, nor
300 shall there be owned or reserved on his or her behalf, under any
301 express or voluntary agreement, title to, or any right to all or
302 a portion of the proceeds from the sale or rental of, more than
303 three single-family houses at any one time. The sale or rental
304 of any single-family house shall be excepted from the
305 application of ss. 760.20-760.37 only if the house is sold or
307 a. Without the use in any manner of the sales or rental
308 facilities or the sales or rental services of any real estate
309 licensee or such facilities or services of any person in the
310 business of selling or renting dwellings, or of any employee or
311 agent of any such licensee or person; and
312 b. Without the publication, posting, or mailing, after
313 notice, of any advertisement or written notice in violation of
314 s. 760.23(3).
316 Nothing in this provision prohibits the use of attorneys, escrow
317 agents, abstractors, title companies, and other such
318 professional assistance as is necessary to perfect or transfer
319 the title.
320 2. Rooms or units in dwellings containing living quarters
321 occupied or intended to be occupied by no more than four
322 families living independently of each other, if the owner
323 actually maintains and occupies one of such living quarters as
324 his or her residence.
325 (5) Nothing in ss. 760.20-760.37:
326 (a) Prohibits a person engaged in the business of
327 furnishing appraisals of real property from taking into
328 consideration factors other than race, color, national origin,
329 sex, disability handicap, familial status, or religion.
330 Section 9. Subsection (5) of section 760.31, Florida
331 Statutes, is amended to read:
332 760.31 Powers and duties of commission.—The commission
334 (5) Adopt rules necessary to implement ss. 760.20-760.37
335 and govern the proceedings of the commission in accordance with
336 chapter 120. Commission rules shall clarify terms used with
337 regard to handicapped accessibility for persons with
338 disabilities, exceptions from accessibility requirements based
339 on terrain or site characteristics, and requirements related to
340 housing for older persons. Commission rules shall specify the
341 fee and the forms and procedures to be used for the registration
342 required by s. 760.29(4)(e).
343 Section 10. This act shall take effect July 1, 2020.