HB 1391-FN - AS INTRODUCED
HOUSE BILL 1391-FN
SPONSORS: Rep. Read, Rock. 17; Rep. Schultz, Merr. 18; Rep. Buchanan, Merr. 15
This bill prohibits discriminatory practices in the sale, rental, or lease of housing against any person because he or she has an animal companion.
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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.
Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]
Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
I. Throughout history, art and literature have depicted humans of all walks of life and social strata with animal companions, illustrating their widespread acceptance in everyday life. Living with animals has a long historical pedigree and is found in virtually every culture in history and across continents.
II. Our own culture is populated with examples of the well-established place animals have found in our hearts and homes. People of all ages enjoy their companionship. For some people, they offer a welcome relief from loneliness. For children, an animal in the home contributes warmth and unconditional love, and teaches consideration for the needs of another creature. Those who suffer from disease or injury experience a therapeutic, even emotional, benefit from their presence. Indeed, people throughout the United States often choose animals over human partners and over having children.
III. Pro-pet policies reduce killing and costs at the local animal shelter, increase adoption revenues, tax revenues, and economic spending, improve civic engagement and public health, and encourage both individuals and businesses to relocate to a community.
IV. As fears about pets causing damage are exaggerated and can be mitigated by less restrictive measures than an outright ban, such as reasonable pet deposits, outdated practices that threaten to cut off humans and animals alike from deep, meaningful, and loving relationships should be prohibited.
354-A:13-a Unlawful Discrimination on the Basis of an Animal Companion.
I. It shall be unlawful:
(a) For the owner of any dwelling, his or her designee, or other person, organization or entity whose business involves the sale, rental, or leasing of housing to discriminate against any person because he or she has an animal companion.
(b) For the owner of any dwelling, his or her designee, or other person, organization or entity whose business involves the sale, rental, or leasing of housing to make or to cause to be made any written or oral inquiry concerning the animal companion of any person seeking to purchase, rent, or lease any housing until after agreement has been reached to purchase, rent, or lease any housing and then only as to determining compliance with paragraph II.
(c) For any person to make, print, or publish, or cause to be made, printed, or published any notice, statement, or advertisement, with respect to the sale, rental, or leasing of housing that indicates any preference, limitation, or discrimination based on animal companions or an intention to make that preference, limitation, or discrimination.
(d) For the owner of any dwelling, his or her designee, or other person, organization or entity whose business involves the sale, rental, or leasing of housing to harass, evict, or otherwise discriminate against any person in the sale, rental, or leasing of housing when the owner’s dominant purpose is retaliation against a person who has opposed practices unlawful under this section.
(e) For the owner of any dwelling, his or her designee, or other person, organization or entity whose business involves the sale, rental, or leasing of housing to otherwise make unavailable or deny housing based on that person having an animal companion.
(f) To ban, bar, limit or otherwise obstruct the rental, lease, or purchase based on the animal companion’s breed, breed mix, age, appearance, weight, or size.
(g) To coerce, intimidate, threaten, or interfere with any person in the exercise or enjoyment of, or on account of that person having exercised or enjoyed, or on account of that person having aided or encouraged any other person in the exercise or enjoyment of, the rights granted by this section.
II.(a) Nothing in this section precludes an owner from requiring the following:
(1) A reasonable pet deposit, which shall be refundable in the case that no damage to the unit caused by an animal companion has been sustained nor have noise, sanitation, or safety conditions caused by an animal companion interfered with the quiet enjoyment of other tenants, not to exceed 10 percent of the security deposit, for each animal; and not to exceed $300 total.
(2) The animal companion to be sterilized and current on vaccinations and the owner of such to provide proof thereof, with the exception of fish and other animals where sterilization and vaccination is determined medically inadvisable by a veterinarian licensed to practice medicine in this state.
(b) Nothing in this section shall preclude roommates to restrict renting a room of a single dwelling to someone who does not have an animal companion.
(c) Nothing in this section precludes an owner from enforcing reasonable rules relating to the quiet enjoyment of other tenants such as noise, sanitation, and safety, if such enforcement is reasonably justified by noise, sanitation, or safety reasons and is not undertaken for reasons prohibited by this section.
(d) There shall be no civil liability to the owner of any housing, his or her designee, or other person, organization or entity whose business involves the sale, rental, or leasing of housing for any injury to persons or property resulting from an animal companion as a result of compliance with this section.
III. In this section:
(a) “Animal companion” means an animal of the kind usually kept as a pet who resides and sleeps indoors, such as a dog, cat, rabbit, bird, fish, hamster, gerbil, or other animal who typically resides and sleeps indoors.
(b) “Housing” includes, but is not limited to, a house, apartment, condominium, townhome, or co-op and includes both single family dwellings and multi-family dwellings.
(c) “Owner” includes the owner and his or her designees, including but not limited to any person or other organization or entity who is engaged in the business of selling or renting dwellings.
HB 1391-FN- FISCAL NOTE
FISCAL IMPACT: [ X ] State [ ] County [ ] Local [ ] None
Estimated Increase / (Decrease)
[ X ] General [ ] Education [ ] Highway [ ] Other
The New Hampshire Commission for Human Rights indicates the fiscal impact of this bill is indeterminable because it is unknown how many charges of discrimination against persons with pets may occur. The Commission has no information to determine if additional resources or staff will be needed.
New Hampshire Commission for Human Rights
|Jan. 15, 2020||House||Hearing|
|Jan. 30, 2020||House||Hearing|
|March 4, 2020||House||Exec Session|
|Jan. 8, 2020||Introduced 01/08/2020 and referred to Judiciary HJ 1 P. 20|
|Jan. 15, 2020||==RECESSED== Public Hearing: 01/15/2020 10:00 am LOB 208|
|Jan. 30, 2020||==CONTINUED== Public Hearing: 01/30/2020 11:00 am LOB 208|
|March 4, 2020||Executive Session: 03/04/2020 10:00 am LOB 208|