Arizona Bill Seeks to Stop Landlord Dog Breed Discrimination

Arizona lawmakers have advanced Senate Bill 1439, which would bar landlords from dog breed discrimination against dogs such as pit bulls and German Shepherds pictured here

Arizona lawmakers have advanced Senate Bill 1439, which would bar landlords from dog breed discrimination against certain dogs such as pit bulls and German shepherds.

For landlords who allow dogs on their properties, Senate Bill 1439 requires them to allow tenants to have any type of breed.

Sen. Brian Fernandez (D-Yuma), the bill’s sponsor, said the idea was brought to him by his assistant. The bill has several Democratic and one Republican co-sponsors.

“We recently had a client of ours who’s a veteran, she actually now works with an organization that helps other veterans with housing-related issues,” Arizona Pet Project CEO Leanna Taylor told KJZZ. “When we met her, she was living in her car. She had been there for six months with her two pit bulls because she could not find housing that would accept her and her dogs.”

Dog breed discrimination by landlords

Several animal welfare groups support the bill, but the Arizona Multihousing Association opposes it.

Sen. J.D. Mesnard (R-Chandler) said he’s concerned that if the bill becomes law, landlords will stop allowing dogs altogether. “Not sure this leads to the outcome the sponsor would hope,” Mesnard said.

Rebecca Cline writes on Butterflymx that, “Breed restrictions for apartments are rules that dictate which types of dogs a resident can have in their unit. Restrictions are enforced in multifamily housing because they absolve managers and owners of liability should a type of dog become aggressive. In fact, an apartment with no breed restrictions could be vulnerable to legal repercussions if the dog attacks on the property.

“For this reason, many property insurance companies require strict enforcement of breed restrictions. These restrictions often center around a well-known list of the most aggressive dog breeds. However, this list can sometimes differ by area,” Cline writes.

Dog Breed restrictions are policy decisions at the level of the property management company, insurance company or even the city or county.

Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter And Get Rental Property And Apartment News And Helpful, Useful Content Each Week.

* indicates required