Questions Everyone Asks About Emotional Support Animal Housing Rights
In the present times, you could observe millions of people are suffering from a wide range of mental disorders. These disorders can be due to either personal life issues or professional issues, and sometimes both. Common mental disorders, such as anxiety, stress, depression, chronic sadness, loneliness, and aggression, can affect people of all ages. All these disorders are mild in the initial stage, and then they increase gradually in terms of intensity. To cope with mental disorders, people are choosing emotional support animals. The emotional support animals are not just good for mental health but also support the ongoing treatment process. The individuals who are suffering from mental disorders and have an emotional support animal must have a valid ESA letter. Besides this, the individual must know about their housing rights. So what are these housing rights provided to the patients of mental disorders who have an emotional support animal? Let’s understand everything about them.
#1 Can A Landlord Impose Restrictions Of Specific Breed Of The ESA?
A simple and straightforward answer to the question is No! Your landlord, HOAs, or even Co-ops, do not have the right to impose any sort of restrictions on the breed of the ESA (emotional support animal) you can have. According to the laws passed by the Department of Housing, it has been stated or mentioned that whatever the breed or species of the emotional support animal is, if an individual is having a valid and authentic ESA letter, then the landlords cannot restrict them.
In certain situations, a landlord can raise a request to restrict the emotional support animal if that animal is not considered safe for other members. Moreover, the landlord would have to explain and provide proper data on the basis of which they claim an emotional support animal is not safe for others. Without proper evidence, the landlords cannot impose restrictions just on biased decisions.
#2 Do I have to make any sort of payment or additional fee or deposit (for the animal) to have an emotional support animal in the house?
According to federal laws, a landlord does not have the right to impose any sort of pet fees on an individual who is having an emotional support animal. Besides, there is no requirement to pay a separate deposit for the emotional support animal. But to support your claim, you need to provide a valid and authentic ESA letter to the landlord. If you are having a normal pet, then you would have to follow the norms set by the landlord. However, common pet regulations are not applicable when you have an emotional support animal. Moreover, the landlords do not have the right to put any charge in the form of an application fee in order to allow the emotional support animal in the house/apartment or any sort of accommodation.
#3 Can Your Landlord Impose Restrictions On The Accommodation Of Multiple ESAs?
Sometimes the situation may arise, that an individual suffering from a mental disorder may require more than one emotional support animal to be around. With the help of multiple emotional support animals, the individual can cope with the mental issues and stabilize their daily routine. In such a situation, the question arises — whether multiple support animals would be allowed in accommodations or not. Well, according to the laws laid down by the federal government, a landlord cannot deny the accommodation for multiple emotional support animals as long as each animal has a separate and valid ESA letter. Even though the landlord might have restrictions on the pets, they do not have permission to restrict the emotional support of animals.
#4 What Type Of Landlords Do Not Have To Adhere With The Fair Housing Rights?
Most of the landlords do have to follow the Fair Housing Laws set by the federal government, but there are some who have exemptions from these Fair Housing Laws. These exceptions are when:
(1) the landlord has an occupied building that does not have more than four units,
(2) when the landlord has rented the single-family apartments or sold the apartments, without the help of an agent,
(3) if the housing place is used for religious activities or by religious organizations.
If you are having an emotional support animal or multiple emotional support animals, and looking for an accommodation, then you must be aware of all the housing laws and rights. Also, ensure that you are having valid emotional support letters or letters if you are having more than one emotional support animal.