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The Fair Housing Amendments Act

EEmotional support animal laws allow you to live a comfortable life with your emotional support animal.

Emotional support animal housing laws require landlords to make appropriate accommodations in their policies to make room for your pet. Though these changes do take place most of the time, there are some cases where ESA laws may not be able to change a lot. These include:

  • If the building is smaller than four units and the landlord also resides in the same building.
  • If the property does not involve a real estate broker and is included under single-family housing.
  • The FHA doesn’t allow access to animals in public places like restaurants, cafes, or hotels and they will probably refuse to allow your ESA. Service animals can be allowed sometimes as they are afforded protection under the American Disability Ac.

The FHA, a federal emotional support animal housing law, restricts landlords from doing the following:

  • Landlords cannot request you for your detailed medical records or ask about your medical condition.
  • They cannot ask about your ESA’s training or its performance in certain tasks like service animals.
  • Also can’t demand any fees or deposit for accommodating for your emotional support animal.
  • Lastly, they cannot refuse your admission on the accounts that their insurance doesn’t cover a breed or animal weight.

Verification May Be Required by Property Managers

The FHA allows a landlord to accept an ESA letter from a certified mental health professional. Additionally, he also may ask for a short verification form from a therapist or physician confirming your emotional disability.

The ESA dog laws require the landlord to make reasonable accommodations in the rules to let the tenants live with their ESA despite him not wanting to let tenants live with their emotional support animals.

Let’s go through an example of how Fair Housing ESA laws apply.

Joseph has been recently diagnosed with severe PTSD. He is regarded as disabled as defined by the Fair Housing Act. He wishes to exercise his rights under emotional support dog laws and visits myesadoctor.com.

Our medical health professional recommends Joseph a dog to help alleviate some of his symptoms. He then asks his landlord if he can have a dog as a reasonable accommodation for his disability. His landlord agrees but asks him to pay a $200 pet deposit and provide proof about the dog’s training.

Did Joseph’s landlord correctly handle Joseph’s request under emotional support animal housing laws, What if Joseph wanted a rabbit or a cat instead of a dog? Should training be a criterion?

No, Joseph’s landlord failed to handle the request correctly. The landlord cannot charge him with a pet deposit for his ESA because it is not a pet, but rather an emotional support dog by law and is medically required for his emotional condition. Furthermore, the landlord cannot ask for any kind of proof that the animal is trained.

Lastly, emotional support animals need not necessarily be dogs; they can also be other animals, such as cats or rabbits and various other species.

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If the landlord refuses, then,

According to federal ESA animal laws, if anyone fails to comply to accommodate an emotionally impaired individual, he can be sued and booked for violation. This can be taken as discrimination against the disabled which is taken very seriously by the U.S Justice Department.

Generally, people fail to comply with the ESA dog laws because they are unaware of their existence. Although if any tenant feels to have suffered discrimination from their landlord, they can report him to the U.S. Justice Department.

These laws are not subjected to just dogs but cover all other pets that qualify for an emotional support animal.

The Air Carriers Access Act (ACAA)

Update: The US Department of Transportation has issued new, fresh guidelines regarding flying with Emotional Support Animals. The guidelines make it clear that once these guidelines kick into effect, ESAs will be considered as pets.

What this implies is that ESAs will no longer gain automatic access to in-cabin flying free of charge. Instead, they will have to travel as cargo the way most pets have. Additionally, they will also have to fill out a separate form that attests to the training and behavior of the animal in question.

Under these emotional support animal laws, people suffering from mental health conditions are allowed to board a flight with their pets i.e their pet flies with the owner in-cabin. An ESA can either sit near the feet or on the patient’s lap while traveling on a flight.

If you are planning to fly with your ESA, you have to let your airline service provider know about it in advance so that they can make the required accommodation in advance. Having an ESA letter is also an advantage along with other documentation.

Under these ESA laws:

  • You can fly with your pet in-cabin by either holding them in your lap or making them sit next to your feet.
  • You don’t pay any additional pet fees when traveling with your ESA on the flight.
  • Make sure that your ESA remains calm on the flight and is comfortable around other people. It is probably not a good idea tofly with your dog/cat if they suffer from social anxiety for the reason that they can create havoc on the flight.

Also, other emotional support animal laws have been enacted to support the ACAA. They are:

  • Almost all airline providers cannot refuse transportation to any individual on the grounds of suffering from a mental condition.
  • There is no limit to the number of ESA owners that can board a particular flight but the airline staff will check on how many ESAs they can accommodate on the flight.
  • You have to make sure that your pet doesn’t interfere with the flight crew. Also, disturbances like chewing, growling, or barking is not allowed during the flight.
  • You have to make sure that your ESA acts under the behavioral requirements so that both you and your pet can enjoy the perks of ESA animal laws.
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