Living with your emotional support animal is great, right? But what if your landlord doesn’t let you live with it. Don’t worry! Emotional support animal laws are there to protect you.
Emotional support animals concept is popular for a reason. The therapeutic effects of them in our life is unparalleled. They have proven to help people manage their mental or emotional conditions.
The thing is we live in a world where animals have more empathy and humanity than the humans themselves. There are more than 7.5 billion people in the world, so there is no shortage of companionship.
But can we actually be a companion of someone?
Probably not. Because we just cannot be selfless. And that is where the animals come in. They are born to love and care for others. We may be a step higher in IQ and logic but they are way higher with respect to emotional intelligence.
Emotional Support Animal Laws
The concept rose to popularity because people genuinely started to experience therapeutic effects. Also, the ESA laws that were drafted were a great help to people suffering from mental or emotional conditions. With an ESA letter, one can live or fly with an emotional support animal without any hassles.
But then again.
Many housing providers or landlords include a no-pets policy in their renting agreement. This is often due to factors like cleanliness issues, potential property damage, noise or merely because of insurance restrictions.
However, there are certain situations where a landlord or the property owner cannot impose a no-pets policy on the renter. Disabled individuals are allowed to live with their service animals in a house where there is a no-pet policy according to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Service animals are not regular pets and thus are allowed to live with their owners. In fact, they are permitted to accompany their disabled owner almost everywhere including flights, restaurants, public parks - you name it.
However emotional support animals are not allowed to accompany their owners everywhere. But then again, for example, you want to go to a hotel with your ESA and the hotel doesn’t allow pets, you can put in a request and tell them your situation.
Emotional support animal letter though doesn’t make sure you can take your ESA anywhere.
So why emotional support animals do not have the same right as service animals?
Medical practitioners have long recognized the importance of animals in assisting humans with a variety of needs.
For instance, a service dog can help a blind person with protection and navigation, and an emotional support animal provides companionship and affection to a person that has a mental illness. Although similar, the law doesn't consider the two equal.
Unlike emotional support animals, Service animals are recognized by the Americans with Disability Act (ADA). Thus ESAs do not enjoy the same rights as service animals such as access to private properties, or public places.
But does this mean you can’t have an emotional support animal to help treat your mental illness?
Of course not!
People are allowed to live with their ESA in accordance with the Fair Housing Act in no-pet policy accommodations if they have an emotional support animal recommendation letter.
An emotional support animal recommendation letter
To qualify for an emotional support animal letter, you must have a qualifying medical condition. Mental illnesses such as special learning disabilities and mental retardation qualify for an ESA letter. If your mental condition qualifies for an ESA, you can get in touch with a mental therapist and apply for a recommendation letter. Make sure you choose the right therapist.
With an ESA letter, you inherit emotional support animal laws which allow you to live with your ESA without any hassles. Your landlord has to let you live if you possess this letter.
What can you do if your landlord refuses to allow an emotional support animal?
If your landlord still refuses to allow an ESA despite providing the correct recommendation letter from a certified therapist, here are a few things you can do:
- File a complaint to the HUD
- You can get in touch with a lawyer and ask him to write a letter to your landlord
- An emotional support animal advocate will be the right person
And that is why every ESA owner should know the emotional support animal laws so that when in difficulty you can exercise them.
A recommendation letter lets you live with your ESA in a house with no pets policy without paying any additional fee. But you stand on a chance of getting evicted if your emotional support animal causes damage to the property or becomes disruptive.
So, if you have an emotional support animal and planning to get yourself an emotional support animal housing letter then just make sure to keep a behavioral check on your pet. These ESA laws are drafted to help you.
All you have to do is be responsible for your ESA and make sure it doesn't cause any disturbance to others.
Yes, a landlord may come in between you and your ESA but then you have emotional support animal laws by your side. So, get your pet an emotional support animal housing letter and experience living with your pet hassle-free.