It’s likely that you’re here because a tenant or future tenant handed you an Emotional Support Animal letter from their therapist and you’re interested in finding out what your rights are as a landlord. A landlord can deny accommodation to a probable tenant with an emotional support animal if; The building has four or fewer units and the landlord lives in one of them. While there are no specific training requirements for an emotional support animal, basic behavior training is important. If the property is a single-family house rented without a professional realty agent, and the owner has less than 3 single-family homes in their possession. Legal documentation will be required for you to prove this status under most circumstances. Under the laws of the FHA, landlords cannot legally deny emotional support animals unless they are completely unreasonable. However, the owner of the service animal is liable for any damages, beyond wear and tear, that may be caused by the dog. Sometimes they feel like pets are too noisy and they want to create a quiet environment for everyone. The short answer is "maybe; maybe not." There is also no question that landlords have the legal right to deny an animal that is a pet in a no-pet policy. Can my landlord deny my ESA dog because it is a pit bull or other breed? Brief Summary of Emotional Support Animals and Housing Laws Kate Brewer (2005) Persons with disabilities have an equal right to housing as those without disabilities. Can A Landlord Ever Deny An Emotional Support Animal? Let’s discuss specifics. If there's a term in your tenancy agreement which bans pets, you can ask your landlord to change it to allow you to have an assistance dog. No. Although an ESA letter must be issued by a medical practitioner, not all doctors are qualified to provide valid ESA documents. We understand that under federal and state fair housing law, we may need … The animal is often a small dog, but it could be most any species that provides a person emotional support like affection or judgment-free, positive regard. An animal registered as an Emotional Support Animal is a medical tool. Here’s everything you need to know about ESAs and when you have the right to deny them. Also commonly referred to as the FHA, the Fair Housing Act was first adopted into law all the way back in 1968. Likewise, you don’t necessarily want to ask any mental health-related follow-up questions when you do learn of the animal’s existence because wading into this subject and asking the wrong question absolutely invites a lawsuit later on – especially if the tenant’s application is eventually rejected for any reason. In the state of Indiana, one case determined that the species of the animal cannot establish denial for residency. Under the same logic, they can’t deny the presence of an emotional support animal either (again, provided that it has been formally prescribed by someone like a psychiatrist or other medical professional). In Saskatchewan, can a landlord refuse an emotional support animal, due to a no pet policy, for a child with mental - Answered by a verified Lawyer . Emotional support animals cannot be denied due to their age. It’s also important to understand that there are a few types of properties that are actually exempt from these types of laws and if yours is one of them, your landlord could very easily reject an ESA and there wouldn’t be much the tenant could do about it. Keep in mind that a reasonable request only rises to that level if it’s easy to grant – meaning that it doesn’t cost the landlord huge amounts of money or time. While you aren’t legally obligated to inform the housing provider of your ESA before signing the lease, it can be a proactive way to ensure that reasonable accommodation is possible at the property in question. Emotional support dogs, on the other hand, do NOT require any type of specific training. • The ESA brings undue financial hardship to a landlord However, it’s important to understand that just because a housing provider is uncertain about whether you have a disability or a disability-related need for your ESA, that doesn’t mean they can deny your request. No, landlords may not charge additional rent or demand a pet deposit for emotional support animals. Your landlord may have to take on a financial burden if an ESA causes damage to property, or harm to others in their building. Do they have the right to deny an ESA? It is illegal for a landlord to deny housing to a person because that person, or someone associated with that person, has a mental or physical disability. But the question often arises: Can a landlord refuse an emotional support animal? The Fair Housing Act (FHA) protects individuals from unlawful discrimination in housing, specifically unfair treatment due to disability, religion, race, color, national original, sex, or familial status. Housing managed by religious organizations, members-only private clubs, single-family houses rented or sold by the owner, and owner-occupied buildings with four or less units are categorized as exempt from FHA regulations. Therefore, virtually all domesticated cat and dog breeds qualify. If you’ve provided your landlord with your ESA letter but they refuse to make reasonable accommodation, there are steps you can take to resolve the issue. This means that in certain situations, a landlord can deny your emotional support animal. Under Federal Fair Housing Laws, Emotional Support Animals must have access to apartments with a no-pet policy and are exempt from pet-related fees. Under Federal Fair Housing Laws, Emotional Support Animals must have access to apartments with a no-pet policy and are exempt from pet-related fees. In the United States airlines are more lenient with emotional support animals as in the U.S. there are more laws regarding citizens rights to have an emotional support animal present. Office of Fair Housing and Equal OpportunityU.S. Emotional Support Animals help aid with an emotional … In both documents, ESAs fall under reasonable accommodations that landlords have to provide to the disabled people. © 2020 - Support Pets - All rights reserved. However, there are certain situations in which a landlord is not required to allow your ESA. It is a single family house that is rented without a real estate agent or broker. No, emotional support dogs can be any type of breed and are exempt from breed or weight discrimination. A doctor can provide you with specific information regarding your qualification for an ESA. This is a challenging question because this would involve insurance agencies. Information about keeping pets and service animals in rented homes. The Emotional Support Animals UK Registry was established in late 2017 to register emotional support animals in the United Kingdom to help people go out in public with their support animal and to help change the current UK laws so ESAs have the same legal rights as service & assistance animals. A lot of people assume that emotional support animals and service animals are the same things, but they’re actually two totally different concepts. In the current housing market, landlords often stipulate in their tenancy agreements that no pets are allowed in the property and will reject tenants who have pets. Landlords can deny emotional support animals if there is good reason to believe the animal poses a threat to the general public. After reviewing your case, a Support Pets doctor will issue your ESA letter if you qualify. With that being said, you are responsible for the actions of your ESA. We use cookies to give you the best possible experience on our website. Can You Fly With Emotional Support Animals? This is tenuous ground, however. But absolutely all of this changes the minute someone comes into a rental office and says that they’re going to be bringing an emotional support animal along with them. Emotional Support Animals help aid with an emotional or mental disability. Your landlord can require you to provide a doctor-issued ESA letter, which is a professional statement that includes specific information outlining your need for an ESA. An ESA letter serves as your main form of “proof” and is an extremely important document to have on hand before beginning an ESA-related conversation with your housing provider. An emotional support animal cannot be denied by a landlord just because it is a puppy or kitten. If you’re a landlord, you should familiarize yourself with federal Fair Housing laws regarding Emotional Support Animals. Landlords’ Rights and Responsibilities. However, these restrictions do not apply to emotional support dogs. Many property owners are simply unaware of ESA laws and may attempt to refuse your emotional support animal because they do not realize the nature of your request. Emotional Support Animals help aid with an emotional or mental disability. These include situations like: Similarly, a memo from the Department of Housing and Urban Development also complicates things a bit when it comes to the subject of reasonable requests, ESAs, and landlords. After receiving your letter, the housing provider may take the time to research the FHA and realize their error, which can result in a reconsideration of your request. Can a Landlord Deny an Emotional Support Animal?An ESA is a medical tool and not a pet.. Can a Landlord Deny an Emotional Support Animal? Amendments made to the Fair Housing Act state that college dorms and on-campus housing must attempt to make reasonable accommodations for qualified emotional support animals. Does the individual making the ESA request have a diagnosed disability? From the point of view of landlords, it’s important to note that tenants aren’t actually required to disclose that they’re bringing an ESA along with them during the application process – so keep that in mind moving forward. If the animal in question poses a “direct threat to the health or safety of other people,” that can absolutely be grounds for refusing to allow a tenant to have one in the first place. While you must legally allow an emotional support animal, you don’t have to acquiesce to their presence if they present significant problems. Some people just don’t like pets at all and that’s perfectly okay, too. If so, does the individual have a disability-related need for the emotional support animal? But those animals (and their owners) have to live somewhere, and the chances are high that this could easily be an apartment or other housing environment owned by a landlord. Landlords can deny emotional support animals if there is good reason to believe the animal poses a threat to the general public. There are a few exceptions, but we will cover these later. Let’s discuss specifics. This is a tricky situation; however, there are times when the law is in the landlordâ s favor. Instead, keep the lines of communication open. While the FHA is designed to protect the rights of those seeking housing, it also considers certain situations in which property owners and/or landlords might be reasonably exempt. If you are planning to bring an ESA into a current residence, be sure to inform your property owner and provide the appropriate documentation when requested. In contrast, if one of the above questions can be answered with a “no,” then the landlord can deny an ESA request. When Can a Landlord Deny an Emotional Support Animal? If you have been diagnosed with a mental, emotional, or psychological disability outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of Mental Disorders, you are included in the FHA’s provisions for disabled persons. So, if you have a support animal to help you manage your disability, a landlord cannot deny it from living with you. For owners of emotional support animals, their health and wellbeing depend on having their ESA in their life. Despite a few exceptions, the laws regarding emotional support service animals override any HOAs rules and regulations. When can a landlord legally reject an ESA? Thankfully, ESA laws protect your rights and prevent unlawful discrimination. To deny a tenant the Emotional Support Animal, the animal must be: Causing an administrative, financial, or programmatic repercussion to … Can a landlord refuse an emotional support animal? Landlords must make reasonable accommodations for ESAs under the FHA, regardless of “no pets” policies or property restrictions. Under the same logic, they can’t deny the presence of an emotional support animal either (again, provided that it has been formally prescribed by someone like a psychiatrist or other medical professional). The bottom line is that there are little to no situations in which a landlord can deny and emotional support animal. Regardless of ESA laws, you are liable for damages or personal harm caused by your ESA. My landlord is attempting to deny my right to have an emotional support animal. You can fly with a “regular” pet, but in most situations, they’ll be created and stored in a very specific location below deck. This is a challenging question because this would involve insurance agencies. Getting a doctor-provided ESA letter is an important step in guaranteeing your ESA rights, but going through the approval process doesn’t have to be stressful. Under the Fair Housing Act, it’s looked at as more of an assistive device designed to help someone with a disability. Include a clear statement that explains you will be contacting the HUD to submit an official discrimination complaint. Can a landlord refuse an emotional support dog based on breed? Question: I manage a 12-unit apartment complex with a strict no-pets policy. © 2020 Genuine Property Management | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service, For 24-Hour Repair Emergencies Call 949-595-2035, direct threat to the health or safety of other people,”. Additionally, many landlords are open to accommodating your need as long as they are made aware, and communicating positively from the beginning can set a positive tone right away. Can a Landlord Deny an Emotional Support Animal? But provided that landlord in question knows the laws governing emotional support animals, and that both the landlord and the tenant are willing to work with one another, it’ll be a satisfying situation that none of the involved parties have to worry about. Here’s a basic outline of what you should know. Your ESA letter serves as professional confirmation that you qualify under FHA regulations, eliminating any guesswork on the part of the housing provider. In 1988, it was further amended to specifically prevent discrimination against families or people with disabilities and similar conditions. A landlord can deny accommodation to a probable tenant with an emotional support animal if; The building has four or fewer units and the landlord lives in one of them. Thankfully, ESA laws protect your rights and prevent unlawful discrimination. The short answer is "maybe; maybe … If you’re considering getting an emotional support animal, or are facing a challenge regarding your emotional support dog and housing availability, we’ve created a useful guide to understanding your rights under the federal Fair Housing Act. But again, nobody has to just “take your word for it” that yours is an actual emotional support animal. Still, from a legal point of view, the Fair Housing Act might enable a landlord … However, you are required to apply for an emotional support pet letter. However, being able to clearly communicate the facts about ESA laws and the FHA can help you not only secure housing, but also educate your housing provider and potentially benefit future ESA owners. A housing provider can legitimately refuse your ESA request in any of the following scenarios: The property owner can prove that allowing the ESA would subject them to undue financial or administrative stress. However, as a landlord, you may encounter tenants that require an emotional support animal (ESA) to help with mental health conditions such as severe depression, anxiety or PTSD. If your landlord asks for proof of ESA registration, certification, or information about your ESA’s placement in a national registry, you are not obligated to fulfill the request. An ESA is a medical tool and not a pet. Therefore, virtually all domesticated cat and dog breeds qualify. If your ESA damages property, makes excessive noise or shows aggression towards other people, you are more likely to encounter problems and potentially be denied housing. Under the FHA, anyone trying to purchase or rent a home, get a home mortgage, or qualify for housing assistance cannot be unfairly discriminated against due to the above-named factors. Typically, a landlord will have a difficult time establishing that an emotional support animal constitutes a fundamental alteration or undue burden. A housing provider can legitimately refuse your ESA request in any of the following scenarios: It’s important to understand that while a housing provider must attempt to make reasonable accommodation according to the FHA, ESA owners also have certain responsibilities including obtaining the proper documentation, clearly communicating the ESA request in a timely manner, and ensuring appropriate conduct by their animal. A duplex would be a classic example of this. Unfortunately, some people claim their pet is an ESA to work around a no-pet policy. Yes. The overriding piece is housing discrimination, and an emotional support animal is just one cause of action that would come up in a housing discrimination case, so you would say, “All right, the landlord didn’t allow me to have this emotional support animal. According to the American Kennel Club, emotional support animals (also commonly referred to as ESAs for short) are actually formally prescribed by mental health professionals, similar to the way one might prescribe medication to treat an underlying condition. Can a landlord legally reject an emotional support animal, or do they have to accept them no matter what? Under the Fair Housing Act, an emotional support animal is considered a “tool” for aiding an individual with a disability, therefore excluding ESAs from “no pets” policies and certain other pet-related property rules. Breed and age restrictions do not apply to ESAs. This means that in certain situations, a landlord can deny your emotional support animal. The Fair Housing Act states that a housing provider must make all efforts to accommodate an emotional support animal, but the law also acknowledges that in some cases, it may not be possible. A housing provider can legitimately refuse your ESA request in any of the following scenarios: The property owner can prove that allowing the ESA would subject them to undue financial or administrative stress. This includes teeth marks on trim, carpet torn by a dog’s digging, and carpet soiled by dog waste or vomit. property management services in Orange County, Why You Should Go with Online Rent Payment. All of the other tenants (and other neighbors in the community) have the right to a sanitary and safe environment and if the tenant absolutely refuses to clean up after their animal, it could be grounds for eviction regardless of the ESA’s status. Can a landlord charge a pet deposit for an emotional support animal? However, emotional support animals absolutely fall under that umbrella too, all thanks to the Fair Housing Act. If you are disabled and you need a service animal to provide service or emotional support, you have the right to ask your landlord to allow a pet in the premises regardless of the language in the lease. Dog breeds like Rottweilers and pit bulls are sometimes restricted in pet policies. Landlords may create a “no pet” policy in their apartment or other community for a wide array of different reasons, all of which are perfectly understandable. While the denial may be valid in certain limited situations, in many cases, you may have to pursue specific action to protect your right to housing. By continuing to use this site you consent to the use of cookies on your device as described in our cookie policy unless you have disabled them. So you may need to go through a business like Finally, landlords should know that they do have the right to require the tenant in question clean up after their emotional support animal (or service animal, for that matter). Your landlord must agree to do this if you're disabled and you need an assistance dog to be able to live in the property. Under the laws of the FHA, landlords cannot legally deny emotional support animals unless they are completely unreasonable. Maybe the most important thing for you to understand about emotional support animals is that you can’t just declare your existing pet one and expect everything to go okay. In general, a landlord: Can not require a pet deposit for a service dog or emotional support animal. While most renters are forced to follow the rules, Emotional Support Animals (ESA) owners may have an easier time convincing landlords let their pets stay. For more information about how to get an ESA letter for your housing needs, contact Support Pets today. If your lease prohibits pets (and many of them do) a landlord can initially refuse to allow a tenant to get a pet. Since and Emotional Support Animal isn’t a pet, it’s important for landlords to understand that tenants with a registered animal can’t be charged pet-related fees. While you will need an ESA letter to prove your qualification under the FHA, there are no additional documents necessary for housing approval. In certain cases, a landlord can legally refuse an ESA: No. Emotional Support Animal and Landlord FAQ. Hi there. This makes finding a suitable home difficult for those who have emotional support animals. The bottom line is that there are little to no situations in which a landlord can deny and emotional support animal. Welcome, Landlord! No, emotional support dogs can be any type of breed and are exempt from breed or weight discrimination. The Emotional Support Animals UK Registry was established in late 2017 to register emotional support animals in the United Kingdom to help people go out in public with their support animal and to help change the current UK laws so ESAs have the same legal rights as service & assistance animals. From everyday tasks to challenging obstacles, an emotional support animal can be vital in successfully navigating day to day life. The issue is that Rat is an emotional support animal but unfortunately that is not recognised in the UK and only service dogs (specifically seeing eye/hearing/epilepsy dogs) are granted any leniency with housing. They are required by law to make reasonable accommodations for ESAs. A landlord is not allowed to deny a reasonable accommodation based on the animal’s breed, weight, or size since there is no restriction for an Emotional Support Animal. Under Federal Fair Housing Laws, Emotional Support Animals must have access to apartments with a no-pet policy and are exempt from pet-related fees. With regards to emotional support animals being able to do things and go places that regular pets can’t, it is notable that ESAs can absolutely accompany their owners in the cabin of a plane thanks to the Air Carrier Access Act. Can a landlord charge a pet deposit fee or require pet rent? All this aside, you really do need your emotional support animal. Four reasons your landlord can deny your ESA • If there is physical damage to the property caused by an ESA, a landlord has the legal right to try and remove it. Emotional Support Animal and Landlord FAQ. Your landlord must agree to do this if you're disabled and you need an assistance dog to … However, there IS actually a way for a landlord to refuse to accept an emotional support animal from one of their tenants – however, it’s certainly a lot easier said than done. A landlord wouldn’t be able to prevent a disabled tenant from using a walker or a wheelchair to get around, for example. Unfortunately, some people claim their pet is an ESA to work around a no-pet policy. Other times they may feel like pets are just too much to clean up after and they dread the modifications that will need to be made to an apartment when the tenant finally moves out. Additionally, emotional support dogs that have demonstrated dangerous aggression or destructive behavior may also be refused. No. Their use has long been supported by medical professionals, and with good reason – they can help dramatically improve someone’s quality of life in a way that even certain types of medications wouldn’t be able to match. The animal brings an undue financial hardship to the landlord; The animal causes damages or harm to others in the building; For the most part, landlords or rental agencies are less likely to understand what an emotional support animal is and the rights of a patient who requires one. In this case, the landlord can seek funds from the support animal’s owner or block the animal from living in the building. Support Pets connects qualifying applicants with licensed medical professionals, providing a 99 percent approval rate within 24 to 48 hours. by Marcel Ford | Jul 2, 2020 | Uncategorized | 0 comments. An ESA letter is valid for one year from the date of issue, and must include the following components: Once you have your ESA letter, you are ready to submit a request for reasonable accommodation under the Fair Housing Act. Your ESA may be rejected if it is too large for the property. Thankfully, because of the Fair Housing Act, emotional support animals and their owners have legal rights that specifically guarantee access to housing. There will be certain times when a tenant will claim they have an emotional support animal, necessary for easing a mental or physical disability. In order to qualify for an emotional support animal, you need to provide your landlord with an ESA letter from a licensed healthcare professional. Throughout the letter, do your best to maintain a calm, neutral tone. In general, an emotional support animal (like a dog) is exactly what it sounds like – one that intended to not only provide emotional support but to comfort their owners on a daily basis. This varies case by case, but some animals may not be fit to cohabitate with other people. An emotional support animal can be a new pet, or it can be a pre-existing pet already owned by the patient; either works in terms of the law. 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