Emotional Support Animals
Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) Quick Facts:
- Under federal law (e.g. the Fair Housing Act, FHA), your property provider is required to make reasonable accommodations to allow your ESA on the property, even if they have a general “no pet” policy.
- Your property provider is allowed to ask you for a letter from your healthcare provider that explains the assistance or benefit that your animal provides directly relating to your disability.
- This healthcare provider can be a primary care physician, social worker, psychiatrist, or other mental healthcare professional.
- This letter should be less than one year old.
- Your property provider may not require that you pay an application fee, deposit fees, nor pet rent for your ESA.
- Your property provider may also not require that you obtain renters insurance for your ESA. However, this is generally recommended.
- Your property provider can charge for damages caused by your ESA beyond ordinary wear-and-tear.
- Your property provider can require that your ESA have up-to-date vaccinations and proof of such (e.g. rabies shots).
- Your property provider cannot require that your animal be declawed, devocalized, etc.
Check out this document published by Disability Rights California in January 2020 that gives more information on ESAs and has sample letters to your housing provider requesting reasonable accommodations for your ESA.
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