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.
The question was never answered, The landlord cannot charge for a pet deposit for his animal because it is not a pet, but rather a service/companion animal required for disability.
I’m concerned about this response as well. The ADA laws also come into play here. In my opinion, this is the next hot bed of litigation. In the classes that I’ve taken on this subject, there is no set animal that is considered a Service Animal or Emotional Support Animal. Someone can have a kangaroo, miniature horse, etc. I met someone recently who registered her kangaroo as a service animal.
Only animals recognized by the ada for service animals are dogs and miniature horses.
Emotional support animals are not covered by ADA. The landlord may not ask any medical questions. According to HIPPA you never have to disclose any medical condition to anyone by federal law. There is no registration board nor any specific training required for a dog to be called a service dog other than an individual making that claim. Individuals are allowed to train their own dog, and the dog must do three things specific to helping an actual medical condition. The landlord may ask what three things do you specific animal does to ameliorate the condition. But the main thing… Read more »
This article is excellent and spot on. Key word throughout this article is that the applicant/tenant must be disabled. If a tenant’s disability is not readily apparent: 1) a landlord may ask the tenant to submit reliable documentation of the disability and 2) the disability-related need for an assistance or emotional support animal. A Service Animal and an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) are two very different animals. Quoting https://www.ada.gov/service_animals_2010.htm, “Beginning on March 15, 2011, only dogs are recognized as service animals under titles II and III of the ADA.” and “Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional… Read more »
You are correct that there is a distinction between a service animal and ESA, however both are included under FHEO leasing guidelines for lawful accomodations such as, to allow the animal where a no-pets policy exists and to waive pet fees.
If the tenant has a guest that visits with a service dog what are the requirements. The dog does NOT reside or stay over night there
I sent my doctors letter stating need for companion animal. Was told I cannot bring animal into building until after leading company meets with me. Is this legal?
Is a landlord in Texas required to refund a pet deposit during the lease term if an approved pet is claimed to be an ESA after the lease has been signed and pet deposit has been paid?
Is a tenant with an service animal required to pay deposit for the pet?
No, landlords cannot ask for pet fees or pet deposits for service animals. However, a tenant must pay for any damages that a service animal causes.
I have a client with a Dr. letter approving the emotional support animal on legal letterhead with contact information for the physician. The complex is now requiring the doctor to fill out a certain form they have created in-house. Is this legal??? I have never seen this from any other company.
More than likely it won’t be legal because it will ask what disability your friend has. The doctor can complete all information on the form EXCEPT for that part as it is a violation of HIPPA
Can the landlord ask for shot documents for my dog
i got letter from landlord and they said i sent emotion support animal letter to the landlord.. also they said esa is only one pet.. i have 2 dogs.. and they said one of them have to pay for pet deposit and month fee… i am confused.. esa should be enough for my pets ??
Landlord Rights for Emotional Support Animals
My apartment is not going to charge me pet deposits or monthly fee but they’re making me do a pet screening where I have to pay $25.00. I asked and they said it was required regardless if my cat is an ESA. Does anyone know if this is correct?
These fly by night so-called medical professionals are a disgrace, some just send the letter once you pay the fee and have no contact with their so-called patient, for 79.00 I can get an ESA letter and never once see a medical professional. Where is the help for PM’s ? Why must we accommodate fake ESA’s? Why has this not been addressed? There need to be stricter rules for the tenant. A minimum visit count, a professional only licensed in the state. Take a look at some of the sights, they are licensed in multiple states so they can make… Read more »
If a person is facing mental health difficulties and using emotional support animal for mental healing, then according to Fair Housing Act, landlord can’t ask charge extra money for that. Landlord may ask for a proof and a person can use ESA Letter as a proof there.