Moving into a new place can be exciting, but also very stressful. For owners of emotional support animals, the process of renting a new place can be even more challenging as they navigate ESA housing laws and rights. However, it doesn’t have to be. Here are some practical steps to making sure you and your landlord are on the same page when it comes to your ESA.
Make Sure Your ESA Certification Letter is Ready
Before talking to your landlord, make sure you have an emotional support animal housing letter from United Support Animals. If you already have one, make sure it is up to date, since they must be renewed once a year, contact United for your renewal. You can register your emotional support animal with United Support Animals as we connect you with a licensed therapist who specializes in ESAs. You can get or renew a certification letter for both emotional support animals and service animals at United Support Animals today.
Understand ESA Housing Laws
Before approaching your landlord, it is important to understand emotional support animal housing laws. Know your rights as an ESA owner so you can be confident in your conversation with your landlord. You and your ESA under the Fair Housing Act which is a Federal Law have the right to live in a “no pets and breed restricted” policy buildings and housing regardless of your ESAs size, breed, or weight. Also, your landlord cannot charge you an extra pet deposit or any pet fees for you ESA. However, your landlord does have the right to ask to see certification, and landlords can turn away ESAs such as horses, llamas, pigs, and exotic animals. Otherwise, a landlord is not allowed to deny you housing because of your ESA. You can have more than one ESA if you have gone through emotional support animal registration for both. To learn more about these laws, you can read The Fair Housing Act, which has a section on service and emotional support animals.
Inform Your Landlord
Once you are well prepared with your ESA letter of certification and knowledge of your rights and housing laws, you can approach your landlord. Under the law, your landlord cannot evict you or refuse you housing. However, make sure your ESA is well-behaved and does not cause other tenants or the property damage. A landlord can evict or refuse housing to an ESA that behaves recklessly and causes damage to persons and property. You do not have to disclose your disability to your landlord or give them any medical information. The only documentation they need is your letter of certification. Answer any of your landlord’s questions gracefully and communicate clearly. With all the proper ESA registration you should have no problem moving in.
In conclusion, approaching your landlord about having an ESA is not as intimidating as it seems. As long as you have an emotional support animal certification letter and educate yourself on housing laws and your personal rights, everything should go smoothly. If you need a letter of certification or need to renew your current one, contact United Support Animals today.