If you want to know about emotional support animals in Texas, you have come to the right place. If you live in Austin, Dallas, Houston, or any other city in Texas, the same rules apply for living with an emotional support dog in an apartment complex. In this article, we will talk about relevant Emotional Support Animal laws, rules, requirements, and the sorts of animals you can have as ESAs in Texas.
Ready to qualify for an ESA Letter in Texas?
You can qualify for your ESA Letter by completing the ESA questionnaire in the “Get Started” link below. A licensed mental health professional will assist you directly in the process. If they determine that you qualify for an Emotional Support Animal for Texas, they will write you an ESA Letter on their offical letterhead. Since you will be working with the licensed mental health professional directly, your ESA Letter will be verifiable.
Laws about emotional support dogs in Texas apartments
There are two main laws you need to know about emotional support animals in Texas.
The Americans with Disabilities Act grants rights to persons with disabilities. To ensure equal treatment and opportunities, people with a mental or emotional disability can live with their pets.
The ADA also states that emotional support animals don’t need any special training. Their sole purpose is to offer comfort and support to their owners. Therefore, as long as the owner has a diagnosed mental health problem, and an animal that plays a role in the treatment by easing disability-related symptoms, the two can live together.
Not only can they bring animals into no-pet facilities, ESA owners are also free from paying pet deposits or fees. That is, unless the animal causes material or other damage. In that case, the owner must pay for the damage.
Next, the federal Fair Housing Act sets the rules for homeowners and housing facilities. No housing facility can deny a person with an emotional support animal equal housing opportunities.
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Rules for emotional support animals in Texas apartments
While each housing facility can set their own regulations, there are some general rules for emotional support animals in Texas apartments you need to be ready for:
- To get access, you need a valid ESA letter from a licensed therapist and a request for accommodation
- The animal must directly help with symptoms of your disability
- Only domesticated animals are allowed
- If the animal is too big (e.g. a horse) or aggressive, facilities can deny accommodation
- The animal must not cause a disturbance, substantial damage, or injuries to tenants and staff
- The owner must make sure all vaccinations are up-to-date
- The owner is responsible for hygiene; which includes cleaning up after the animal immediately
- Owners must pay for any damage caused by their ESA
- Cats and dogs should wear collars and tags
- Dogs must be on a leash outside the apartment
- You must treat fleas and pests immediately
- The owner must address behavioral issues in a timely manner or leave the premises
Get permission for your emotional support dog
People are becoming more aware of the benefits of having emotional support animals. Because of this, housing facilities receive a large number of accommodation requests.
Hence, the controls have become more extensive. To get permission to have emotional support animals in Texas apartments, you must follow a procedure.
First of all, you need a valid emotional support animal letter. Next, you also need an animal that’s appropriate for an apartment. Make sure that your ESA dog is socialized, and friendly.
When you find an apartment you want, you must file a request for accommodation. You can present your ESA letter to your landlord after you sign the lease. You can find more information on how to let your landlord know that you have an emotional support dog here. In most cases, facilities approve these requests promptly. This is because they don’t want to face a formal investigation and penalties.
Apartment managers cannot ask you to explain your disability or how the animal helps you manage your disability. In some cases, they will ask you to fill out a form in addition to providing your ESA letter. In other cases, they might ask your therapist to do it for you.
If all checks out, you will get a waiver of the no-pets policy from the landlord.
What pets can live as emotional support animals in Texas apartments?
Dogs and cats are the most common emotional support animals in Texas. However, other domesticated animals such as birds, rabbits, miniature pigs, ferrets, hedgehogs, and many others can qualify as ESAs.
Also, note that there is no regulation regarding the animal’s age. In addition, one person can have more than one emotional support animal.
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