If you got an ESA letter for your pet after you moved in, you may be entitled to a refund. Many landlords require a pet deposit if you move in with an animal to cover potential damage to the property. Some may also charge an ongoing monthly pet fee. Emotional support animals, however, have special housing rights and are completely exempt from any pet fees and deposits.

If you go through the ESA process and receive the ESA letter, you are entitled to a refund of the pet deposit since your animal is no longer a pet but a legally recognized assistance animal.

Did you know? A landlord must refund your pet deposit if your pet becomes an emotional support animal.


You are also no longer subject to any pet fees or rent, but you would not get a refund for fees paid during the time your animal was just a normal pet.

To verify you have a genuine emotional support animal, your landlord is entitled to see an ESA letter. An ESA letter is a signed recommendation letter from a licensed therapist, doctor, or counselor. It is the only way to prove that you have a true emotional support animal under federal and state law.

Some landlords also charge an application fee for considering your pet. ESAs are exempt from application fees. Your housing provider cannot charge a fee to process your ESA letter.

Can I get my pet deposit back after I get an emotional support animal?

Having an ESA is not only beneficial for your mental health, but it can also save you some serious cash by eliminating pet fees and deposits.

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