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Can landlord demands for an ESA letter? - 2022 Guide

If you have been facing an emotional or mental disability, your pet can provide important emotional support and be evaluated by a therapist. Once you are assessed to receive an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) letter, you will be able to formally recognize your pet as an ESA if your therapist deems it appropriate. This ESA Letter ensures that you will not be facing separation from your animal when you require them most.

Pet owners, as well as researchers, have reported that pets can improve the status of your mental health. Pets can assist vulnerable individuals to feel less secluded and isolated by providing you companionship to finding your purpose in life. Research shows that interaction with animals regulates your heart rate and maintains your blood pressure. They can also substantially reduce the signs of physical stress.

For instance, your pet is a dog and you like his company. In order to have him accompany you everywhere you go, you need to make sure to prove your pet as an ESA dog via therapist assessment and recommendation. To acquire the benefits of having an ESA, you mainly require a “prescription” from your mental health expert. Basically, it is merely a signed letter saying that you are having a mental illness and your pet is helping you cope with it.

According to US Housing Departments' guidelines, the esa letter for housing ought to be acquired from a “certified health care professional”. ESA letters have been usually sent by mental health experts including psychologists, social workers, psychiatrists, as well as counselors. Physicians, nurses, paramedics, and nurse practitioners, have also been authorized by HUD regulations to issue these letters for ESAs.

Mainly, the policy of no pets has been practiced in various buildings and if you want to bring your ESA to such a building having a ‘no pets’ policy, the landlord or administration might ask you to provide them with an authentic ESA letter. From an authentic letter, it means that the letter must be obtained from a licensed mental health expert on the basis of your actual mental health status.

Your landlord has the right to request an ESA document prior to authorizing you along with your ESA to stay in a rented apartment. You cannot force your landlord to let you bring an illegal ESA. This applies to animals such as llamas, horses, or other wild animals in residential spaces. You are authorized to bring more than one emotional support animal for as long as your therapist considers their companionship necessary. For instance, having a few dogs or cats might be acceptable, but having 10 chickens in a residential building may not be practical.

If your current landlord has more issues with your ESA and you have been living in an apartment before bringing your ESA in, then you must know your right. In case you have been provided a prescription of an ESA aiming for better treatment while you currently live in a pet-free home, it is your right that you can stay in that house and no one can force you to evict in accordance with the Fair Housing Act.

In another scenario, you have shifted into your new apartment and you ask for accommodation from your new house owner by explaining about your mental health condition or emotional concern and that you need an ESA in order to reduce the impact of your mental health condition. You can preferably ask for this accommodation via email before moving into the new house to avoid later issues.

After you have provided information to your landlord, you must also show an ESA letter, legally acquired from your therapist or mental health professional. You can ensure the provision of an original paper copy of your ESA letter, or you can also send a digital or scanned copy of the original letter to the landlord by email.

If your landlord teases you after knowing that you require ESA because of your vulnerable mental health condition and is unable to evict you as per law, he may ask you to pay more rent or deposit more amount because of your animal. He may inquire more details regarding your mental health condition besides the emotional support animal letter, or force you to register your ESA animal. You should know that all these behaviors and acts posed by landlords are illegal and against the law, as there is no official registry for ESAs, and they cannot force you to pay more or vacate the house.

Mainly, landlords do not ask for letters before the contract. You can provide the house owner your ESA letter prior to or after signing the lease, as per your choice. You do not need to tell your management company which might have assisted you to find this house, that you require or may require any support animal in the future. Several apartment management organizations are known for discriminating against owners of emotional support animals by refusing to renew their lease or completely refusing their application. This is not merely unethical but also illegal.

Landlords who need to ask for an ESA letter from you can check the validity of that letter, and they also have the right to deny accommodation to the individual having an ESA if they feel that an animal in a closed space might be a threat to health, safety, or their property. You should deal with your landlord as per rules and reasonable rights promised by HUD. For more information, do visit visit myesaletter.net.

Useful Resources:

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Benefits of having therapy ESA pets - 2022 Guide

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