When tenants want their landlord to waive a prohibition on pets or pet-related fees for their assistance or emotional support animal, can the landlord request a doctor’s note supporting the tenants’ request?

The Fair Housing Act requires landlords to evaluate a tenant’s accommodation request to possess an assistance or emotional support animal on the property. If a tenant’s disability is not readily apparent, a landlord may ask the tenant to submit reliable documentation of the disability and the disability-related need for an assistance or emotional support animal.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has found that documentation from a physician, psychiatrist, social worker, or other mental health professional is sufficient if it establishes that an individual has a disability and that the animal will provide disability-related assistance or emotional support. However, a landlord may not request information concerning the severity of the disability or require the tenant to provide access to medical records.