Renting With Emotional Support Animals
We all know how difficult it can be to find your dream apartment. After carefully considering location, price, and amenities many renters overlook apartments Pet Policies. With most housing options having some form of a ban on pets, or charging higher deposits and monthly rent, many individuals and their Emotional Support Animals are left with little options. Access to affordable healthcare, and making or paying for doctor’s appointments has been increasingly difficult. Our team of licensed doctors and therapists are here to help you navigate the complex laws and rights you have with your Emotional Support Animal. You can access our services any day and anytime. Our fast and friendly staff are here to assist you to ensure that you aren’t one of the many that struggle finding housing for you and your ESA.
When do I tell my landlord I have an Emotional Support Animal?
Do I tell my landlord before I apply, or after? This delicate question has many factors to consider, so let’s break them down. Even though anti-discrimination laws protect you and your ESA, how can we be sure a landlord won’t make up some excuse like “The apartment’s been filled”, “Your credit was too low”, and the list goes on. Because of the absolute protections ESAs have, there is no need or reason to disclose your disability and need for an assistance animal until after you move in. Your medical rights are protected, so why put yourself at a disadvantage? This is exactly what anti discrimination laws are designed to do: Protect you!
So what protections do we really have?
Housing providers’ obligations under the Fair Housing Act include the requirement to provide reasonable accommodations to people with disabilities who require assistance animals. Pet restrictions cannot be used to deny or limit housing to people with disabilities who require the use of an assistance animal. Housing providers must grant reasonable accommodations in such instances, in accordance with the law.
A landlord cannot deny a reasonable accommodation request. If your disability is not readily apparent, you will more than likely be required to provide medical documentation, such as a letter or form completed by your doctor or therapist demonstrating your need for an assistance animal. For example, the housing provider may ask tenants to provider documentation from a physician, psychiatrist, social worker, or other licensed mental health professional stating that the animal provides emotional support that alleviates one or more of the identified symptoms or effects of an existing disability. Such documentation is sufficient if it establishes that an individual has a disability and that the animal in question will provide some type of disability related assistance or emotional support.
My complex needs to verify my doctor or complete a form, how do I do this?
We are here to serve our patients! Whether it is a letter, or a form you need to present to your complex, do not fear! When checking out, be sure to add a housing form to your order, so we can complete it for you. If you have already ordered a letter, but not your form, click here to order it. All of our doctor’s and therapist’s contact and licensing information is available for verification as well. Unlike many other “ESA Registration Sites” that have no way to reach the doctor, or complete additional requests, we pride ourselves in our accessibility and on going assistance.
It is important to note that due to Federal Privacy laws, a housing provider requiring additional forms or documentation must provide us with your signed consent release of information first. Should you require an additional form, please be sure everything has been completed before submitting to us via email. Once your form is submitted, we will have it returned via email within 1 business day.
Emotional Support Animal Rental Benefits
Your Rights Under The Law
- Your ESA Letter is a legal document and your rights are protected by Federal Fair Housing laws. In the majority of cases, your ESA will be accepted by landlords without incident. It is your responsibility to comply, as well as inform and educate your landlord of your rights with your ESA if they infringe on them.
- Landlords DO NOT recognize ESA Registration ID cards and Certificates. These documents are not valid and have no legal standing. You must have a letter or form to qualify
- If your landlord requires additional forms to be filled out, please email us a copy of the forms requested by your landlord. These forms will be completed within 1-2 business days.
- The therapist is forbidden by law to disclose the details of your treatments and condition without your expressed written consent. Landlord verification forms must be signed and completed by you.
What to do if my Landlord says "NO" to my Emotional Support Animal?
If you provide the correct documentation from a licensed therapist and your landlord is still not allowing your ESA, you do have a few options:
- Contact us. Our dedicated support staff is here to inform you of your options and rights.
- Contact your local HUD office and file a complaint with your local rental board.
- Contact a local attorney to intervene and file suit against your landlord
- A list of local HUD offices and contact information are shown below
To file a complaint online with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development: