1. What is an emotional support animal (“ESA”)?
  2. How do I qualify for an emotional support animal?
  3. Do I need a certificate, registration, license, ID card or vest for my emotional support animal?
  4. Can an emotional support animal enter a grocery store, restaurant, hotel or other public space?
  5. Are emotional support animals a scam? Are online ESA companies such as ESA Doctors scamming their customers?
  6. What kind of animals can be an emotional support animal?
  7. Do ESAs need special training? Can my current pet be an emotional support animal?
  8. What laws protect emotional support animals?
  9. Can I qualify for more than one emotional support animal?
  10. What types of disabilities qualify for an ESA letter?
  11. What kind of therapist can write an ESA letter? Can my doctor prescribe an ESA for me?
  12. Who should I ask for my ESA letter?
  13. Is an ESA letter from an online therapist just as good as an ESA letter from a therapist seen in person?
  14. When does an ESA letter expire?
  15. Should I adopt my emotional support animal before or after I get an ESA letter?
  16. Do I need to submit a hardcopy of my ESA letter to the landlord?
  17. What will the ESA letter contain? Will an ESA letter reveal details about my condition?
  18. Is an emotional support animal the same thing as a service animal?
  19. Why is there a 30 day waiting period in California to get an ESA letter?
  20. My landlord says our building doesn’t allow pets and my emotional support animal isn’t welcome, is that allowed?
  21. Can my landlord charge a fee or deposit for my emotional support animal?
  22. My emotional support animal caused some damage by accident and my landlord says I’m responsible for paying for the repairs, can they do that?
  23. If I already paid a deposit or fee for my pet which later qualified as an emotional support animal, am I entitled to a refund?
  24. When is a landlord able to deny a request for an emotional support animal?
  25. My landlord rejected my ESA request, now what?
  26. Do I first need my landlord’s permission before bringing home an emotional support animal?
  27. My landlord is not responding to my ESA request, how quickly do they have to get back to me?
  28. Are condo homeowners associations (HOAs) and co-ops also subject to Fair Housing rules regarding emotional support animals?
  29. My landlord lives in my building, does my emotional support animal still have the right to live with me?
  30. My landlord, co-op or HOA is denying my ESA request because the building doesn’t allow dogs over a certain weight, is that allowed?
  31. My landlord, co-op, or HOA is rejecting my ESA because it is a pitbull, is that allowed?
  32. Is my emotional support animal allowed at the pool, garden, rec room and other common areas of my building?
  33. Can my landlord charge an application fee for considering my emotional support animal?
  34. How do I let my landlord know I will be living with an emotional support animal?
  35. Do I have to be home all day with my ESA?
  36. Can I bring an emotional support animal into university housing?
  37. My landlord says my emotional support animal letter has to come from a doctor seen in person, is he right?
  38. I just moved to a new state, will my old ESA letter written by a therapist in my old state still work with my new landlord?
  39. My landlord wants to speak to my therapist, is that a violation of my privacy rights?
  40. My landlord is being really difficult about my emotional support animal and I believe they are violating my rights. I have tried reasoning with them at length but they are acting hostile, is there anything I can do?
  41. I live in Canada, can my emotional support animal live with me?
  42. I submitted my ESA letter and my landlord is requesting a certification, registration or identification card, what do I do now?
  43. Can my emotional support animal board the cabin with me on flights?
  44. What is a psychiatric service dog?
  45. What is the difference between a psychiatric service dog and an emotional support animal?
  46. What kind of conditions qualify for a psychiatric service dog?
  47. Is a psychiatric service dog or emotional support animal better for me?
  48. What is a psychiatric service dog (PSD) letter?
  49. Do I need a certificate, license, vest, harness or ID card for my psychiatric service dog?
  50. Does a psychiatric service animal have to be a dog?
  51. How do I fly with my psychiatric service dog?
  52. What kind of tasks do psychiatric service dogs perform?
  53. Does a psychiatric service dog have to be professionally trained?
  54. How can a third-party verify that my dog is a psychiatric service dog?
  55. When can someone deny entry to my psychiatric service dog?
  56. Is ESA Doctors a doctor’s office? Does it employ doctors?
  57. Is ESADoctors.com a legitimate website?
  58. How can I reach ESA Doctors? Do you have a phone number I can call?
  59. Does ESADoctors.com have client reviews?
  60. What is your refund policy?
  61. How does your money-back guarantee work?
  62. What is the Annual Renewal Subscription and do I need a new letter next year? How do I cancel?
  63. What is your shipping policy? What if I have damaged/lost my original letter. How can I get a new one?
  64. My airline/landlord has a separate document they need filled out. Can you help with this?
  65. Can your licensed healthcare professionals help with online third party ESA verification services?
  66. The airline/landlord has specific wording they are requiring in the letter. Can you make adjustments to my ESA letter?
  67. Can I upgrade my plan to include housing and/or travel?
  68. Can I buy an ESA letter for someone else?
  69. Can I choose a different amount for the gift certificate?
  70. When will my payment be processed?
  71. What is ESA Shield? Is it a good idea for me?
  72. Will my answers to the ESA questionnaire be kept confidential?

General Information about ESAs

1. What is an emotional support animal (“ESA”)?

An emotional support animal, or ESA, is an animal companion that provides comfort and support to someone suffering from a mental or emotional disability such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder or a phobia. Emotional support animals and their owners have certain protections under federal and state laws. Landlords, Co-Ops, HOAs, and other housing providers must allow tenants to live with their ESAs free of charge, even if the building has a policy banning pets.

2. How do I qualify for an emotional support animal?

To have a valid emotional support animal, you must be in possession of a recommendation ESA letter from a licensed health care professional (sometimes also referred to as a “licensed mental health professional” or “LMHP”). The ESA letter will establish that you have a disability and that an emotional support animal alleviates symptoms of that disability. Under federal law, this is the only legitimate way to qualify an animal companion as an emotional support animal.

3. Do I need a certificate, registration, license, ID card or vest for my emotional support animal?

A valid ESA letter is the only documentation you need in order to qualify an emotional support animal. Landlords cannot ask for a certificate, registration, license or ID, or insist that your ESA wear a vest. These items do not confer any legal status on emotional support animals. Some ESA owners use such items as tools to signal that their animal companion is an ESA, but they are not mandatory and do not function in lieu of an ESA letter as valid forms of proof for an ESA. There is also no need to register your ESA in a database or registry.

4. Can an emotional support animal enter a grocery store, restaurant, hotel or other public space?

No, ESAs do not have an automatic legal right to be in grocery stores, restaurants, and hotels that prohibit animals. ESA owners have the legal right to be accompanied by their animal companion in their home pursuant to the Fair Housing Act. Only ADA service animals trained to perform tasks (such as seeing-eye dogs for the blind) have public access rights in places like grocery stores and restaurants. Some establishments such as hotels are not obligated by law to accommodate ESAs but will do so anyway as a courtesy. It is best to check with the hotel or other businesses to see if they have a policy regarding emotional support animals.

5. Are emotional support animals a scam? Are online ESA companies such as ESA Doctors scamming their customers?

No, ESAs are not a scam. Regrettably, there is a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding on the internet when it comes to emotional support animals that puts an undeserved cloud over legitimate ESA owners and service companies. Contrary to some myths, there is a developed regulatory framework surrounding emotional support animals in the United States. ESAs are protected by federal laws and government agencies which enforce those laws. There are specific legal requirements that ESA owners must adhere to in order to obtain accommodation under law for their animal companion. Legitimate owners of emotional support animals must have documentation in the form of a recommendation letter from a licensed healthcare provider. Housing providers have the right to demand an ESA letter from the tenant before accommodating an ESA request.

There are also many legitimate emotional support animal services online such as ESADoctors.com. You should proceed with caution with any website that promises that their certification, registration, license or ID will immediately qualify your pet as an emotional support animal. Websites that are not scams will instead connect you to a healthcare professional who is licensed for your state. That professional will conduct an independent assessment of whether an ESA is right for you and issue an ESA letter only if they determine that you qualify. Legitimate ESA companies online cannot guarantee to instantly qualify an emotional support animal, since that determination must come from an independent licensed professional after evaluating the client.

6. What kind of animals can be an emotional support animal?

People use a wide variety of animals to serve as their ESA. The most common ESAs are dogs and cats. Under Fair Housing rules, an ESA can be a dog, cat, small bird, rabbit, hamster, gerbil, other rodents, fish, turtle, or other small, domesticated animal that is traditionally kept in the home for pleasure rather than for commercial purposes.

7. Do ESAs need special training? Can my current pet be an emotional support animal?

ESAs do not require any special training but they need to be in your control. ESAs are different from service animals which are trained to perform specific tasks for the disabled (for example, seeing eye dogs for the blind). ESAs provide support and comfort for mental illnesses and other conditions through their companionship. Although ESAs do not require any specific training, it is recommended that they have basic obedience training and are able to behave well in public settings. Your current pet could be an ideal emotional support animal, and may already even be serving that purpose.

8. What laws protect emotional support animals?

Emotional support animals have rights under the Fair Housing Act. The U.S. Department of Housing creates guidelines with respect to ESAs in housing. These rules protect people suffering from mental or emotional disabilities who have emotional support animals from discrimination. There are also various State laws that protect emotional support animals.

9. Can I qualify for more than one emotional support animal?

Yes, it is not uncommon for someone to need more than one emotional support animal. You will need an ESA letter that specifies your need for more than one ESA. Each ESA must be covered by valid documentation (multiple recommendations can be contained in one letter). The licensed healthcare professional must determine that you would benefit from more than one emotional support animal. It’s important that if you own multiple ESAs they can all be safely and humanely accommodated in your residence.

10. What types of disabilities qualify for an ESA letter?

It is up to the licensed healthcare professional to determine whether you have a disability that qualifies for an emotional support animal. Common disabilities include things like depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and phobias. For purposes of Fair Housing rules, a disability is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

11. What kind of therapist can write an ESA letter? Can my doctor prescribe an ESA for me?

An ESA letter must be written by a doctor, a licensed healthcare professional or licensed mental health professional (LMHP) which includes professionals such as psychologists, psychiatrists, registered nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, clinical social workers, licensed counselors and other licensed professionals. An ESA letter is technically not a “prescription”. It is a recommendation letter from a licensed healthcare professional. Physicians have the ability to write ESA letters, but most ESA letters are not from physicians.

12. Who should I ask for my ESA letter?

The best person to inquire about whether an ESA is right for you is your existing mental health provider. If you do not have a therapist or are having trouble finding one, ESA Doctors can help connect you to a professional that is licensed for your state. Many people use online therapists for their ESA needs for various reasons. If you are having trouble finding a therapist, paying for a therapist due to limited income, scheduling a visit due to work, family or school obligations, or have phobias or anxieties about seeing a therapist in person, then using an online provider may be a great solution for you.

13. Is an ESA letter from an online therapist just as good as an ESA letter from a therapist seen in person?

Yes, many licensed therapists, including the ones that work with ESA Doctors, offer their services remotely without the need for an office visit. Remote therapists are a vital resource for people that are having a hard time finding a therapist in person, paying for a therapist or scheduling a visit because of a busy schedule. Some people have anxieties or phobias about discussing their problems face to face with someone and prefer to interact with a therapist remotely. As long as the provider is a licensed healthcare provider that is familiar with your mental health issue or emotional disability, they can write an ESA recommendation for you. The U.S. Department of Housing has also acknowledged in its guidance that therapists can provide services remotely online.

14. When does an ESA letter expire?

For housing purposes, ESA letters technically do not have an expiration date under Fair Housing rules. However, some landlords will demand a more recently dated letter if the tenant submits an ESA letter that was issued a long time ago. In addition, if you need your licensed healthcare professional to submit a form or provide verification, they may not be able to do so unless there is a recent ESA recommendation letter on file for you. We recommend renewing your ESA letter annually so you don’t run into any issues travelling or living with your ESA.

15. Should I adopt my emotional support animal before or after I get an ESA letter?

Some people have an existing pet that they qualify as an emotional support animal. Others obtain an ESA letter and then adopt their ESA. There is no right answer, both situations are very common and permitted.

16. Do I need to submit a hardcopy of my ESA letter to the landlord?

No, a hardcopy of the ESA letter is not required. The licensed professionals that work with ESA Doctors will provide a digital copy of your ESA letter if you qualify, which you can then use immediately. You do not need an original copy with a wet ink signature. A proper ESA letter will contain the licensed mental health professional’s contact and license information, which a third party can use to verify the authenticity of the letter. If you would still like an original copy for any reason, we can accommodate your request for an extra fee.

17. What will the ESA letter contain? Will an ESA letter reveal details about my condition?

An ESA letter will establish that you have a disability for purposes of the Fair Housing Act. A disability that qualifies for an ESA can be a condition such as severe depression, anxiety, phobia or post-traumatic stress disorder. The ESA letter will recommend an ESA to help alleviate symptoms of your mental or emotional disability. Housing providers are not permitted to demand that you disclose details about your specific diagnosis or the severity of your condition. Nor can they request your medical records or insist that a medical examination be conducted. You have a right to privacy when it comes to sensitive information about your mental and emotional health.

A valid ESA letter will be signed and dated by a licensed professional. The letter should also contain the professional’s license and contact information so that third parties can verify the authenticity of the letter and that the professional is actively licensed in their field.

18. Is an emotional support animal the same thing as a service animal?

Emotional support animals are not the same thing as service animals. Service animals are specifically trained to assist their handlers with a disability. For example, a service dog can help someone with visual impairment by acting as a guide, or someone with post-traumatic stress disorder by providing tactile comfort during moments of crisis.

Service animals have legal rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which give them greater public access rights than ESAs. For example, service animals are generally allowed to go wherever members of the public are allowed (bars, restaurants, stores, etc.).
ESAs on the other hand mainly have housing rights. ESAs are given legal rights under the Fair Housing Act and various state laws. Unlike service dogs, ESAs do not need any special training. They are intended to provide mental and emotional comfort to their owners through their companionship.

Service animals can also only be dogs or miniature horses under the ADA, whereas emotional support animals can be most household pets, like dogs, cats, gerbils, fish, turtles and birds.

19. Why is there a 30 day waiting period in California to get an ESA letter?

California instituted a new law for 2022 that requires healthcare professionals to establish a client-provider relationship at least 30 days prior to issuing an ESA letter. This law applies to all residents of California. If you have previously worked with a licensed healthcare professional through ESA Doctors, you may be exempt from the 30 day waiting period. To qualify for an ESA letter for California, start here.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Regarding Emotional Support Animals and Housing

20. My landlord says our building doesn’t allow pets and my emotional support animal isn’t welcome, is that allowed?

Almost all housing providers are subject to federal Fair Housing rules regarding emotional support animals. Under Fair Housing rules, emotional support animals are not considered pets. ESAs are assistance animals that help tenants who are suffering from a mental or emotional disability. That means a building’s normal policies regarding pets do not apply to an emotional support animal. Housing providers must accommodate ESAs even if the building normally prohibits pets. Fair Housing rules were designed so housing providers could not unfairly discriminate against emotional support animal owners.

There are some limited circumstances where a landlord can legitimately deny an ESA, such as if they have determined the ESA is a safety or health risk to others. In addition, owner-occupied buildings with no more than four units and single-family homes sold or rented by the owner without the use of an agent are also exempt from ESA rules.

21. Can my landlord charge a fee or deposit for my emotional support animal?

Landlords are never permitted to charge fees, surcharges or deposits in connection with ESAs. Even if the building you live in charges fees or security deposits for all pets, an ESA is exempt because ESAs are not considered pets under federal Fair Housing rules. The lack of a security deposit does not mean however that a landlord does not have the right to collect for damages caused by an ESA. If an ESA causes damage to the property, the landlord can charge the tenant for such damage and deduct expenses from any general security deposit the tenant may have paid. Landlords are also not permitted to charge application fees when considering an ESA request.

22. My emotional support animal caused some damage by accident and my landlord says I’m responsible for paying for the repairs, can they do that?

ESA owners are always responsible for the actions of their emotional support animals. Even though a landlord can’t charge fees or deposits for an ESA, they can charge a tenant if the ESA causes property damage. Landlords can also deduct costs for any such damages from a general security deposit they may have collected from the tenant.

23. If I already paid a deposit or fee for my pet which later qualified as an emotional support animal, am I entitled to a refund?

In situations where a tenant’s pet later qualifies as an emotional support animal, and they had previously paid a special deposit or fee for their pet, they would be entitled to a refund of that deposit or fee. Note however for fees the waiver would only apply for the time the animal companion was considered an ESA. For example, if you were paying a monthly fee for your pet, you would no longer pay that fee going forward but would not be entitled to a refund for past months when the animal was validly categorized as a regular pet.

24. When is a landlord able to deny a request for an emotional support animal?

Landlords do have the right to reject your request to live with an emotional support animal under certain limited circumstances. The housing provider can reject an emotional support animal if they determine that the animal would pose a direct threat to the health or safety of other individuals or would result in substantial physical damage to the property of others. Note that the housing provider must actually make an individualized assessment of the particular animal. They cannot rely on stereotypes regarding the animal. For example, they cannot reject an emotional support pitbull solely because they believe such animals are dangerous without any evidence the particular ESA in question is actually dangerous.

A housing provider may also reject an emotional support animal if the accommodation would cause an “undue financial and administrative burden” on the housing provider’s operations. One example of this would be if the housing provider’s insurance would be cancelled, or substantially increase in cost, because of the presence of a certain type of animal. Landlords relying on this exemption should substantiate their claims and also consider whether alternative insurance coverage is available.

25. My landlord rejected my ESA request, now what?

It’s not uncommon for landlords to initially reject an ESA request from a tenant. Some landlords are simply unaware of what Fair Housing rules regarding ESAs actually require. Other landlords will sometimes confuse emotional support animals with service dogs. It’s important to have a constructive, but friendly dialogue with your landlord. The Department of Housing’s guidance states that landlords should engage in a good-faith interactive process with tenants to resolve ESA issues. It may be helpful for you to point out the relevant housing rules to your landlord if they are denying your ESA without merit. Many times landlords are simply just unaware of their obligations under Fair Housing rules and will acquiesce once they are confronted with the facts.

In rare situations where a landlord is completely uncooperative even after multiple attempts to amicably resolve the situation, tenants do have the right to file a complaint directly with HUD. That should always however be a last resort option. Housing providers should be aware that many landlords have been sued by the government for the failure to comply with emotional support animal housing rules.

26. Do I first need my landlord’s permission before bringing home an emotional support animal?

We recommend clearing your emotional support animal with your housing provider prior to bringing your ESA home, particularly if you live in a no-pets building. You must request accommodation from your landlord for your ESA and submit your ESA letter. The landlord must get back to you promptly and, if they are rejecting your ESA request, must give you valid reasons for denial. If your ESA is already living with you because it was a pet that later qualified as an ESA, then you would submit your ESA letter to your landlord as soon as possible.

If you inform your landlord of your ESA after bringing home your ESA in violation of building rules, under HUD guidance the landlord must still consider your request. However, that timing could upset your landlord and work against your favor. The bottomline: it’s always best to be honest and transparent about your ESA. Remember, a tenant’s right to an ESA is protected by federal and sometimes state law.

27. My landlord is not responding to my ESA request, how quickly do they have to get back to me?

Landlords must reply to ESA requests “promptly”, and within 10 days of receiving the tenant’s request for accommodation. Landlords cannot just stonewall tenants who submit requests for their emotional support animal. The Department of Housing encourages landlords to engage in a good-faith interactive process with tenants regarding ESA requests. That means that landlords should have constructive dialogue with tenants to address any concerns regarding a tenant’s emotional support animal.

28. Are condo homeowners associations (HOAs) and co-ops also subject to Fair Housing rules regarding emotional support animals?

Yes, HOAs and co-ops are subject to Fair Housing requirements and must also reasonably accommodate valid ESAs.

29. My landlord lives in my building, does my emotional support animal still have the right to live with me?

Maybe. The Fair Housing act applies to most types of housing. There are however some exceptions. The following types of housing do not have to comply with the Fair Housing Act’s rules regarding emotional support animals: 1. owner-occupied buildings with no more than four units, 2. single-family houses sold or rented by the owner without the use of an agent, 3. housing operated by religious organizations, and 4. private clubs that limit occupancy to members.
Note that although certain landlords are not legally obligated to accommodate emotional support animals, some will do so anyway as a courtesy. It’s best to check with your landlord to see what their policy is regarding ESAs.

30. My landlord, co-op or HOA is denying my ESA request because the building doesn’t allow dogs over a certain weight, is that allowed?

Under Fair Housing rules categorical breed restrictions are not allowed. Housing providers can’t deny a tenant’s ESA request solely because the ESA is a certain breed. The housing provider can however turn away the ESA if they have good reason to believe the particular animal in question poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others or has caused property damage. They would need to determine the animal is a threat based on actual evidence, and not just stereotypes about the particular breed in question.

31. My landlord, co-op, or HOA is rejecting my ESA because it is a pitbull, is that allowed?

Under Fair Housing rules categorical breed restrictions are not allowed. Housing providers can’t deny a tenant’s ESA request solely because the ESA is a certain breed. The housing provider can however turn away the ESA if they have good reason to believe the particular animal in question poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others or has caused property damage. They would need to determine the animal is a threat based on actual evidence, and not just stereotypes about the particular breed in question.

32. Is my emotional support animal allowed at the pool, garden, rec room and other common areas of my building?

Housing providers must allow tenants to be accompanied by their emotional support animal “in all areas of the premises where persons are normally allowed to go, unless doing so would impose an undue financial and administrative burden or would fundamentally alter the nature of the housing provider’s services.” That may include places such as a recreation room, a community garden, a pool area or a courtyard.

33. Can my landlord charge an application fee for considering my emotional support animal?

Landlords are not allowed to charge tenants or prospective tenants any type of fee in connection with the consideration of an ESA request. That includes fees for applications.

34. How do I let my landlord know I will be living with an emotional support animal?

You can request accommodation for your ESA verbally or in writing. There is no special language needed when making this request, but it can be helpful to inform the landlord that you are seeking reasonable accommodation for an emotional support animal pursuant to Fair Housing rules. We recommend submitting the request in writing so you have a record of when your request was made. You should also submit your ESA letter to your landlord when making this request. Your landlord has the right to request documentation for your ESA, and the only legitimate form of ESA documentation is a recommendation letter from a licensed healthcare professional.

35. Do I have to be home all day with my ESA?

There is no rule that requires ESA owners to be with their emotional support animals all day. Most ESA owners do not have their ESA with them at all times during the day. Like any other animal companion, your ESA should be properly attended to and depending on the type of ESA may be able to be left at home for short periods of time. ESA owners like all pet owners are responsible for feeding, maintaining, providing veterinary care for, and controlling their assistance animal. ESA owners can enlist the help of friends, family, volunteers and service providers (such as dog-walkers) to help them care for their animal.

36. Can I bring an emotional support animal into university housing?

University housing such as dorms and university sponsored apartments are subject to Fair Housing rules and its provisions regarding emotional support animals. However, universities are known to be more stringent about ESA accommodation than typical landlords. Many of our clients have successfully used their ESA letters for college housing, but some have also faced an uphill battle dealing with difficult administrations. We will be available to provide support but cannot guarantee outcomes regarding whether a housing provider accepts your ESA or not. Our recommendation is to check with your school to see what their specific policy is regarding ESAs.

37. My landlord says my emotional support animal letter has to come from a doctor seen in person, is he right?

Under HUD guidelines, a licensed healthcare professional can issue an ESA letter. Most ESA letters are generally not from physicians, although a physician is capable of writing an ESA letter. Examples of licensed professionals given by HUD include psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, nurses, nurse practitioners and physicians assistants. In addition, tenants are allowed to use licensed providers that work remotely through online services. It is not necessary to have an ESA letter from a therapist who evaluated you at an in-person session.

38. I just moved to a new state, will my old ESA letter written by a therapist in my old state still work with my new landlord?

Generally, housing providers in these situations will understand that tenants who have recently moved from another state will have an out of state ESA letter. The important thing is that you were evaluated by a therapist who was licensed for your state at the time of the evaluation. There is no requirement under Fair Housing rules that an ESA letter be issued in the same state where the tenant is requesting accommodation from their landlord.

39. My landlord wants to speak to my therapist, is that a violation of my privacy rights?

Under Fair Housing rules, landlords are not permitted to request detailed information about a tenant’s condition. They cannot request medical records or insist on a medical examination. Your therapist is also bound by obligations of confidentiality and generally cannot reveal details about your condition beyond what is stated in their ESA letter. However, your landlord does have the ability to confirm your therapist wrote your letter for you. A valid ESA letter should have the therapist’s license information which the landlord can verify on your State’s website for licensed professionals. A valid ESA letter will also contain contact information for your therapist which your landlord can use for confirmatory purposes.

40. My landlord is being really difficult about my emotional support animal and I believe they are violating my rights. I have tried reasoning with them at length but they are acting hostile, is there anything I can do?

If you have a landlord who is blatantly disregarding your right to be accompanied by an emotional support animal and they have failed to engage in constructive dialogue with you regarding your ESA, you can file a complaint directly with HUD. It is not uncommon for landlords to get in trouble with government agencies for discriminatory practices against the disabled. This should however be a measure of last resort. We always recommend and encourage having an open and friendly dialogue with your landlord about your ESA needs. Most landlords are reasonable and will comply with their Fair Housing obligations.

41. I live in Canada, can my emotional support animal live with me?

Canada does not have a legal framework for emotional support animals similar to one in the United States. In the U.S., ESA rules are enshrined in federal law and apply to every State. Various States in the U.S. also have laws that protect ESAs. Many landlords in Canada however will accommodate emotional support animals as a courtesy if you have an ESA letter. There may also be local rules that pertain to emotional support animals. We can help connect you to a therapist licensed to work in Canada to help you assess whether an ESA is right for you.

42. I submitted my ESA letter and my landlord is requesting a certification, registration or identification card, what do I do now?