When you become disabled, the world becomes a very different place. Things that may have once been easy may become more difficult to do. For this reason, laws have been put in place to ensure an individual with a disability is treated fairly.
Two of the commonly known organizations is the Fair Housing Act and the Americans With Disabilities Act. However, if you are new to a disability, you may have some questions as to what each of these agencies is and what they can do for you.
In this post, we will discover the difference between the Fair Housing Act and the ADA.
If you feel that you qualify to live with an emotional support animal, complete the questionnaire in the link below to get started. A licensed health professional will be able to assist you in getting the correct documents so that you can live with your ESA.
What is the Fair Housing Act?
The Fair Housing Act (FHA) is a law that was created to put an end to discriminatory practices in any activities related to housing. It was established in 1968 (just one week after Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated).
The goal of the FHA is to ensure all people are afforded the same rights when it comes to buying or renting a home.
There are seven main classes of people protected under the Fair Housing Act. These include;
- Disability (physical or mental)
- National Origin
- Familial Status (having children under 18 and pregnant women).
The Goals of the FHA
The Fair Housing Act has a three-part goal system put into place. Which includes ending discrimination in the areas of;
1. Home Renting & Selling
- Refusing to rent housing, sell housing or negotiate for housing.
- Making housing unavailable or lying about the availability of housing.
- Denying housing.
- Establishing different terms or conditions in home selling or renting.
- Providing different housing accommodations or amenities.
- Denying participation in housing-related services (such as a Multiple Listing Service).
2. Mortgage Lending
- Refusing to make or purchase a mortgage loan.
- Setting different terms or conditions on the loan, such as interest rates or fees.
- Setting different requirements for purchasing a loan.
- Refusing to make information about the loan available.
- Discriminatory practices in property appraising.
3. Additional Illegal Practices
- Make discriminatory statements or advertise your property indicating a preference for a person with a certain background or excluding a protected class. This applies to those who are otherwise exempt from the Fair Housing Act, such as owner-occupied four-unit homes.
- Threaten or interfere with anyone’s fair housing rights.
The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)
Unlike the Fair Housing Act that covers areas of property rentals and ownership, the ADA is a civil rights law put in place to protect people with disabilities in all areas of public and private life. These include;
- All public and private places that are open to the general public.
The purpose of the ADA is to ensure those individuals with disabilities are treated fairly and the same as those who do not have a physical or mental disability.
According to their website;
“In 2008, the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) was signed into law and became effective on January 1, 2009. The ADAAA made a number of significant changes to the definition of “disability.” The changes in the definition of disability in the ADAAA apply to all titles of the ADA, including Title I (employment practices of private employers with 15 or more employees, state and local governments, employment agencies, labor unions, agents of the employer and joint management labor committees); Title II (programs and activities of state and local government entities); and Title III (private entities that are considered places of public accommodation).”
The Fair Housing Act and Emotional Support Animals
The Fair Housing Act protects people with mental and emotional disabilities and allows them to live with emotional support and service animals. The law requires apartment complexes, landlords, and condo associations to accept people and their ESA even if they are a “no-pets” property. Emotional support animals or comfort animals are not specially trained to provide a service, but are necessary for people suffering from mental disabilities to help cope with their disability.
How Do I Qualify for the Fair Housing Act?
In order to qualify for the Fair Housing Act and live with an emotional support animal, you must first get an ESA letter from a licensed health professional. The ESA letter must be written on the official letterhead of a licensed health professional and must be dated within one year. Be aware of fake ESA registrations and ESA letters that do not follow your state’s rules and regulations.
In order to qualify for the Fair Housing Act and live with an emotional support animal, you must first get an ESA letter from a licensed health professional.
People with emotional support animals are exempt from the following:
- Additional pet deposits
- Additional pet rent
- Animal age restrictions
- Animal weight restrictions
- No Pets Policy
What To Do If Your ESA Is Denied
You can contact and ESA lawyer that specializes in ESA and housing laws. If you feel that you are being discriminated against, you can also file a complaint with the HUD online or by mailing them a letter to the address below.
Office of Compliance and Disability Rights Division
Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
451 7th Street, S.W. , Room 5242
Washington, D.C. 20410
FHA and the ADA – Know Your Rights
Don’t let a disability stop you from living your life. Know your rights under the Fair Housing Act and the Americans With Disabilities Act. After all, these have been put in place to help you get the rights you deserve.
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