Housing Rights for Emotional Support Animal
People have different health issues. Some people suffer from emotional health issues and for them getting fine would seem to be quite tough. But along with medications and pet therapy there would be feeling of betterment and wellness in the patient.
So, having ESA letter would help the emotional support animal to enjoy a few benefits and rights.
Most of the people have a question that having a pet can create some limitations as far as where to stay and whether the other residents and the land lord would allow or not. So, keeping all these things in mind it is important to clear some points.
If a person suffers from emotional disability then he can have a pet along with him. This pet should be certified by a licensed emotional health doctor that it is an emotional support animal and has been mainly prescribed for the patient to feel good.
As per the Fair Housing Amendments Act the land lord should allow the pet to stay along with the patient, if ESA letter is available. However, the pet should not create nuisance around and should behave well in front of others. This means that even when the place has no-pet policy, still they will have to allow the pet as it is an emotional support animal.
Apart from that, if the place has only-cats policy then too your pet should be allowed, even though it might be a dog, because it is an emotional support animal.
However, there are some property arrangements where the landlord is not legally under any obligation to keep the emotional support pet with the person.
These arrangements include:
- A building where there are just 4 units and one of the units is occupied by the landlord.
- Private clubs
- Private motels
- A single family housing where the broker was not involved
As per the Fair Housing Act, even though you as a patient furnish the emotional support animal letter or certificate the land lord has the right to actually get deep into the matter and verify the problem that the patient has.
Also, the land lord can check that whether this disability is considered as apt or not under the legal jurisdiction. The landlord might not want to have the pets in the housing arrangements that they have. But as per Federal Law, the emotional support animals that help the patients should be allowed at such housing properties and housing arrangements.
Other Details That You Need to Know
Often there is less knowledge in this regards among the people and so keeping this in mind there are many landlords who would ask for extra rent because the ESA was allowed.
So, there should be knowledge and awareness among people in this regards.
- The landlord should not ask for any extra money or rent just because the emotional support animal is allowed in the home.
- The landlord should not force the person or the patient to have special training for the pet.
- The landlord should not force the patient to make the pet wear collars or special pet clothes
- He should not deny the accommodation.
However, it is the social and moral responsibility of the pet owner to keep the pet under control and avoid any sort of aggressive behaviour. If the pet got aggressive and is responsible for damaging the property then the landlord has the right to charge the pet owner with some penalty or damages.
What to do when the property manager does not allow accommodation to the pet?
If the pet owner has emotional support animal because of the emotional disability that the person has, the property manager should support the patient and must allow him to stay at the housing arrangement or at the property.
But, if the property manager doesn’t support or comply in any way then this will be violation of law and when someone violates the federal law then government would take strict action against the man. If any kind of discrimination is seen then the tenant can file the complaint to USA Justice Department.
The pet owner can also sue the landlord if needed. In most of the cases the hearing will be in favour of the pet owner only. But the pet owner should be ready with the relevant documents. This is because the pet owner might be asked a few questions about the disabilities and the pet’s details.
That is the reason why the pet should be certified as an emotional support animal. The health care practitioner who deals in emotional health issues would have the authority to certify or register the pet as emotional support animal. The pet should be able to give comfort and cosiness to the patient and that is the reason why pets can be the best comrades that such patients would have.
If you have been looking for a therapist who would give you this relevant certification for the pet then you can even find such a therapist online. You should check out that whether the therapist is a doctor for mental illnesses and whether he or she holds the license for the same.
The letter should be duly signed and should be written on the letter head. Also, the letter would hold the validity of one year. Once you have this letter in hands you can take your pet anywhere you wish. This will help you to bond with the pet pretty well.
If the tenant is asked for any extra fees then he should immediately produce the emotional support animal letter. If in spite of this the landlord doesn’t understand then the tenant can take legal steps as needed. Having the certificate can help the tenant to lead a peaceful life.
Having pet around can be a good way to bond with the pet and to feel good even when the health issues prevail. Mental and emotional health issues would be better if pets are around for comfort.
So, understand the legal rights and know how you can seek protection for your safety.