What does it mean?
Some landlords do not have to comply with federal emotional support animal rules.
- The “Mrs. Murphy” exception exempts owner-occupied buildings with
4 or less units.
- An owner-occupied building may also be known as a live-in landlord.
Where did it come from?
“Mrs. Murphy” refers to a hypothetical widower that lives on her property while renting out the other units.
- This exemption was intended to protect smaller landlords like her from the burdens of complying with the Fair Housing Act.
If this applies to you:
If you live in an owner-occupied building with up to 4 units, your landlord technically does not have to accommodate your emotional support animal under federal ESA guidelines.
- However, there may be state housing laws for ESAs they still need to follow.
Having an ESA is beneficial for your mental health, and in most cases, accepted by landlords — provided you have a legitimate ESA letter from a licensed health professional.