You can give your ESA letter to your landlord before OR after you sign the lease. You are not required to let a new landlord know before signing your lease.
If you have been prescribed an ESA for your treatment and are currently living in a “no pets” policy building, you cannot be evicted under the Fair Housing Act. If you are moving into a new apartment, you (the tenant) must request reasonable accommodations from your landlord (preferably through email), explaining that you do have a mental/emotional disability and you need the ESA to lessen the effects of your disability.
Once you have notified your landlord, you should also present him/her with your ESA letter from your mental health professional. You may provide an original hard copy of your letter or send your landlord a digital copy via email.
Are you looking to rent a new apartment? You may give your landlord your ESA letter before or after you sign the lease. You are not required to let your apartment management company know that you need or may need an emotional support animal. There have been a few apartment management companies have been known to discriminate against emotional support animal owners by not extending leases or flat out rejecting their applications. This is not only unethical, but illegal as well. If you are facing these types of discrimination, see below.
A landlord can refuse you housing or evict you if your ESA compromises the safety of the other tenants or their property, or causes the landlord any undue financial hardship. If the landlord refuses or threatens to evict you outside of these conditions, you can file a complaint with the HUD. Remember, the manager, owner or landlord must make reasonable accommodation for you and your ESA under Federal Law.
Emotional Support Animal and Landlord FAQ
- Can a landlord refuse an emotional support dog based on breed?
No, emotional support dogs can be any type of breed and are exempt from breed or weight discrimination.
- Can a landlord charge a pet deposit for an emotional support animal?
No, landlords may not charge additional rent or demand a pet deposit for emotional support animals.
- Can a landlord ask for proof for my emotional support animal?
Yes, a landlord may ask you for an ESA letter from a licensed mental health professional.
- Can my landlord ask me to register or provide registration proof for my ESA?
No, registration is not required for emotional support animals.
- Do I have to disclose my disability to my apartment manager or landlord?
No, you do not have to disclose any medical information to your landlord.
- Do I have to let my apartment management company and landlord know that I have an ESA prior to signing a lease?
No, you may let your apartment management company know before OR after you sign your lease.
Live Freely With Your ESA
You do have rights when it comes to having an Emotional Support Animal in a “no pets” policy building. Once you have your prescription letter, live freely with your ESA knowing you are both covered by Federal Law.
See if you qualify for an emotional support animal below.
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