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What You Need to Know About ESA Letters and Laws

Did you know that an estimated 61.5 million Americans suffer from some type of emotional or mental disability? Extreme stress, depression, bipolar disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder are just some of the issues impacting some people’s lives. While they may be helped with therapy, medication, or a combination of the two, there are some with emotional disorders who can also benefit from the companionship of a pet. Emotional Support Animals are those pets that are designated by a mental health professional as essential to their owner’s mental health and benefit from several concessions in housing units and on airlines. If you have an emotional disorder and want to find out more about emotional support pets, here is what you need to know.

What is an Emotional Support Animal?

Emotional Support Animals are different from service animals, which are required to have specialized training and/or experience in order to help their owners. Emotional Support Animals, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, may sometimes perform tasks that require training but others provide assistance that requires no training. Any type of animal can be used as an Emotional Support Animal as long as they are providing the comfort and support their owner needs to treat their condition. Dogs and cats are very common ESAs, but others have used pigs, birds, hedgehogs, or even miniature horses as emotional service animals.

 

What Laws Are Related to Emotional Support Animals?

Emotional Support Animal Miami FAQ
Emotional Support Animal Miami FAQ

When you have a pet that has been certified by a mental health professional as an ESA, you will benefit from concessions in two laws: the Air Carrier Access Act and the Fair Housing Act. If you are considering going through the process of getting an ESA letter for your pet, you should be aware of how these laws will apply to you.

If you do not have an ESA letter and want to take your pet on an aircraft, you will be charged extra to have your pet in the cabin with you or your pet will be required to ride in the cargo hold. Under the Air Carrier Access Act, if you have an ESA letter for your pet, the airline cannot prevent you from keeping your pet in the cabin, require advance notice to allow you to keep your pet in the cabin, or charge you extra for this benefit.

The Fair Housing Act requires that landlords make reasonable accommodations for those with Emotional Support Animals even in housing communities that restrict pets. A resident who is in possession of a valid ESA letter cannot be denied housing because they have a pet unless that resident is neglecting the pet or the pet is doing significant damage to the housing unit.

To get these benefits for your Emotional Support Animal, you must have an ESA letter that meets all the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. You may get one of these letters either by meeting with a qualified mental health professional in person or you may be referred to one through a valid online service that helps connect you with a therapist who can write you an ESA letter.

 

How Do I Get a Valid ESA Letter?

Valid ESA letters must be issued by a licensed mental health professional such as a psychologist, therapist, licensed clinical social worker, or psychiatrist. Many of these professionals will either require that you are a patient of theirs undergoing therapy or, if the process is done online, they will go through your medical records and interview you to determine your need for an ESA.

Some of the qualifying conditions to get an ESA letter are depression, anxiety, panic disorder or panic attacks, personality disorders such as borderline or bipolar disorder, fears or phobias, social anxiety disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder.

With your certified ESA letter, you will be recognized as a patient or a patient on a case-by-case basis under the care of a licensed mental health professional for emotional or mental disabilities. The letter also verifies that your disability significantly limits your daily life and affects your ability to perform everyday tasks. Finally, the letter will state the need for your emotional support animal as a necessary part of your therapy.

Frequently Asked Questions About Emotional Support Animal Letters

 

Do I Need to Get My ESA Certified?

Certification for an Emotional Support Animal is not only unnecessary, but it is technically impossible. There is no recognized registry for ESAs and ‘registering’ your animal will not give it any special privileges. To designate your pet as an Emotional Support Animal, you need only get a valid ESA letter from a licensed mental health professional. If you are working with a company that says they sell registered Emotional Support Animals or official ESA certifications, you are likely being scammed.

 

Can I Get an ESA Letter Online?

Yes, you can get an ESA letter online from an online company. However, you must be careful and look out for red flags that would indicate the service is not legitimate. The online company must connect you with a licensed mental health professional as that is the only valid way to get an ESA letter. If the service offers to ‘instantly’ approve you or tells you that your letter will be cheaper than other services, you are probably not working with a legitimate company.

 

Can I Buy an Emotional Support Dog or Other Animal?

No. Owners of animals are certified with ESA letters, not the pets themselves. If you see any ‘registered’ or ‘licensed’ Emotional Support Animals for sale, those who are selling them are not legitimate. Only those with valid mental or emotional disabilities can be approved to have an ESA and that approval can only come from a licensed mental health professional who has evaluated and/or treated you for your condition.  

 

What Type of Animals Make the Best ESAs?

This is a question without an easy answer because those with emotional or mental health disorders get support from different types of animals. In many cases, the ideal ESA will be the pet you already own. If you have a dog, cat, bird, guinea pig, or any other animal that gives you comfort and helps you manage your symptoms, you have the right Emotional Support Animal.

If you have a mental or emotional disorder and do not currently have a pet but think one might help you, your best bet is to go to a shelter. Spend some time with the dogs, cats, or other animals at the shelter and see which one offers you the most comfort. In many cases, dogs or cats make excellent ESAs because of their naturally loving temperaments, ability to be in the home, and because they do not need the specialized care that a more exotic pet would require.

 

What is the Difference Between Emotional Support Animals and Service Animals?

Service animals and Emotional Support Animals are not the same. Service animals must be specially trained to perform duties for their owners. In many cases, the owners of service animals are physically disabled. Service animals can be trained to assist those who are blind or deaf or who are in wheelchairs or who experience debilitating mental disorders.

Service animals are allowed by law into any private establishment while Emotional Support Animals are not. It is much more difficult and expensive to obtain a service animal as they must fit certain training criteria before they can qualify. Some service dogs perform psychiatric services for those with severe emotional or mental health issues while others perform more physical tasks for those who are hearing, seeing, or otherwise physically impaired. Because they perform crucial services for those with disabilities, service dogs have much more public accommodation than their ESA counterparts.

 

What is the Difference Between Emotional Support Animals and Therapy Dogs?

Emotional Support Animals provide valuable support and comfort by simply acting as a companion to their owners. Because they have one owner and can be with their owner at all times, the bond between owner and ESA can grow very strong. In contrast, therapy dogs are not usually owned by the people they provide treatment too.

Therapy dogs are usually brought into hospitals, nursing homes, or other facilities where treatment is being given to individuals with emotional or physical ailments to provide comfort. Service dogs may also be used in areas where a disaster, such as an earthquake or bombing, has occurred to provide support and comfort to survivors. Because they are not technically considered ESAs or service animals, they are normally not given the same accommodations as either group of animals.

Owners of ESAs must be careful never to misrepresent their animal as either a service dog or a therapy dog and must respect the laws that govern their pet.

 

Asking Your Doctor for an Emotional Support Animal Letter

If you are currently seeing a mental health professional for an emotional or mental disorder, it’s likely that your doctor is already aware of the many benefits of Emotional Support Animals. More than likely, if you bring up the possibility of obtaining one, he or she will be more than happy to issue you a verified letter.

If you are not currently seeing a mental health professional, you can still obtain a verified ESA letter. There are numerous online services that will provide you with a connection to a mental health professional who can go through your health records, evaluate you, and determine if you qualify for an ESA. If so, they can provide the verified letter that you will need for your pet to receive ESA benefits.

Here at Mango Clinic in Miami we can help you legally obtain your ESA letter, in person or online. Call us (786) 391-0269 or schedule an appointment online to speak to a licensed Board Certified Physician.

 

Where Can My ESA Live with Me?

With your verified ESA letter, your Emotional Support Animal can live with you in housing units, homes, condos, dormitories, or any other form of public housing. All of these facilities are included in the Fair Housing Act to accommodate you as a resident or student.

Click Here to Make an Appointment

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A Critical Review – TherapyPet.Org

 

Obtaining an Emotional Support Animal letter from a legitimate provider is a must for those who truly need an Emotional Support Animal. Sadly, too many individuals are finding that the letter they have obtained online is not valid. And unfortunately, finding out the letter is invalid typically coincides with an event that is already highly stressful.

For instance, airlines are not allowed to charge owners of emotional support animals additional fees, and your animal will be allowed to remain with you for the duration of the flight instead of being held with other pets. However, an ESA letter that is from a scam website can mean hours of lost time at the airport arguing about your need for a support animal.

Landlords are also prohibited from charging a person with an emotional support animal letter additional pet fees or deposits, and your rental application cannot be denied due to your ownership of an emotional support animal. Once again, those who may have obtained an ESA letter from a scam website may be unhappy to find that they are denied the ability to rent or must pay an extra fee.

If you attempt to present a fake document to a landlord, they are within their right to deny your application or charge you additional pet ownership fees. It is also illegal to misrepresent an animal as an emotional support animal, and some states may issue a fine if a person attempts to use a fake ESA letter. Sadly, it can be difficult to tell illegitimate ESA letter sites apart from the rest, and many have a very professional appearance.

An ESA letter carries a certain amount of power, but before you purchase one, you should learn the difference between legitimate and illegitimate letter providers.

 

How Does One Attain a Legitimate ESA Letter?

In order to ensure your ESA letter is legit, you must be seen in person by a licensed medical doctor. Offices like Mango Clinic in Miami offer either standard appointment setting or walk-in care for those with harder schedules. You can also apply for an ESA letter online through Mango Clinic.

Mango Clinic is fully legitimate medical practice with locations in Florida, New York, and California. All of our physicians are licensed to practice medicine in the state of California, New York, and Florida.

What Does TherapyPet.Org Do?

Simply Googling Support Animal ESA letter brings up hundreds of suggested websites. For instance, TherapyPet.Org offers a free online assessment; lets a customer select a letter that seems to fit the bill and then can chat online with a licensed therapist about the nitty-gritty.  Oh, and they promise to get that letter out to you within 24 hours. What service… right?

FAQ’s on How to Spot a Fake ESA Letter Website

As mentioned above, there are many websites selling false ESA letters at exorbitant prices. Fortunately, there are ways to spot disingenuous ESA letter websites. Here are some frequently asked questions about how to spot scam ESA sites:

– Is the website secure?

Emotional Support boxer dog
Emotional Support boxer dog

 

When you see the tiny green lock just to the left of a website’s URL address, it signifies that the site is secure.

– Is the website registered in the US?

Take a minute to check the domain of a website that you might be questioning. For instance, some scam websites are not even registered in the United States which can be a red flag, like Therapypet.org, which is registered in the Bahamas. Also, pay attention to how long the website has been around. Sites that are only a year or two old might be shady.

– Does the website provide info about the “medical staff” or information about their state licensing information?

Any website offering visits with real therapists should offer information about their trained medical staff.  It just makes sense, if only to put potential customers at ease. Sites that do not offer such detail are often contracting with out-of-country doctors who are not licensed in the United States.

– Does the site offer to register your pet with a state database?

There is no national database for registering support animals. If the website you are looking at claims this is part of their ESA letter package, it could be a scam.

– Does the company running the website request information about your specific pet?

Many scam websites are noticeably out of date with claims such as Therapypet.org’s claim of “bypass breed and size restrictions”. Customers who believe the website and purchase an ESA letter from them may be surprised to show up for a Delta flight with their pit bull-type service dog only to find that Delta has changed its policy and they are not allowed to fly.

Also, many scam websites do not ask details about your specific pet before providing the scam ESA letter. All ESA letters must include information about your pet and its role in your therapy to be valid. Legitimate providers know the importance of a service or support animal and as such, take great care to stay up-to-date on current policies.Legit Emotional Support Animal Letter

 

Stories About Fake ESA Letter Mills

There are many false ESA letter mills in existence, but they can be spotted. These sites are a dime a dozen, and here are some testimonials from pet owners who trusted such sites:

  • After attempting the take her emotional support cat on a flight to Miami, the author of this blog was shocked when the attendant at the airline desk refused to accept her letter. The letter, which was purchased online, was not valid because it lacked information about her disability and was not endorsed by a licensed mental health professional.
  • Ripoffreport.com is a valid website to search if you are wondering if a website is valid or not. One simple click brought up several negative reviews for TherapyPet.Org.
  • In this story, the writer registered a stuffed animal with the one site for $65.00, proving not all ESA letter sites are legitimate.

Pet owners should be wary of sites like these – a fake ESA letter is just a click away.

Why Choose ESA Letter form MangoClinic

Here at MangoClinic’s cost and expertise make it the best place to obtain an official ESA letter from. Making sure you are getting a verifiable and legal ESA letter can mean the difference between peace and happiness and stress and anxiety in many situations. Let our medical professionals help.

 


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Is it Difficult to Get an Emotional Support Animal Letter?

 

Do you have a mental or emotional health condition and believe that a pet could enhance your therapy? If so, you are not alone. Many mental health professionals believe that animals can have a beneficial effect on their patients. These animals have been dubbed Emotional Support Animals and benefit from laws regarding housing and airline travel. If you have a legit ESA letter, your pet can live with you regardless of the landlord’s pet policy and with no additional fees. In addition, your ESA can travel in the cabin of an airline with you and the airline may not charge you any fees.

 

Many people think it is difficult to get an ESA letter. They believe their Emotional Support Animals need to be specially trained like Service Animals to qualify, but this is not true. ESAs need not have any special training and they can be any type of animal. The only requirement is that you have a mental or emotional health condition that can be verified by an LMHP and that you get a legitimate letter written by a mental health professional. Here is more information on how you can get an ESA letter from Mango Clinic in-person or online.

 

Conditions and Types of Animals That Qualify for ESA Letters

Disorders that qualify for an ESA - Mango Clinic
Disorders that qualify for an ESA – Mango Clinic

An ESA letter is written for you and not for the animal. That means you don’t even have to have an animal in mind yet when you request an ESA letter. You must, however, have a legitimate mental or emotional condition that affects your quality of life. Examples of conditions include post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, social anxiety, phobias, or bi-polar disorder.

 

As for the types of animals that can be ESAs, most people choose to use the pets they currently have as Emotional Support Animals. These are typically dogs or cats as they are the easiest to care for and travel with and also provide the greatest amount of emotional support. However, any animal can qualify as an ESA and there have been many birds, hedgehogs, guinea pigs, and even miniature horses that have been used as Emotional Support Animals.

 

How to Get an ESA Letter

 

The process for securing an ESA letter is not difficult, especially if you are currently experiencing stress, anxiety or depression. Simply explain to a doctor why you think an animal would enhance your therapy and why you need them to travel with you or live with you in housing that otherwise would not allow animals. If the ESA doctor sees a legitimate need for an ESA, he or she will most likely be happy to write the esa letter.

 

However, even those who are not currently receiving therapy can also receive an ESA letter. There are many reputable companies online that can connect you with a doctor who can provide you with an ESA letter. The physician will go through your health records to determine what condition you are suffering from and will interview you to see if you are a good fit for an ESA. If so, he or she will issue you a legitimate ESA letter that can be used to show your landlord and/or airline you are traveling on. To start your legitimate online ESA prescription application click here.

 

How to Spot a Fake ESA Letter

 

Emotional Support boxer dog

Not all online services are reputable, though. There are some red flags you can look out for that can serve as warnings of a scam. If the company offers to ‘register’ your pet as an ESA, they are probably not legitimate. ESA letters are written for you, not your pet, and there is no recognized ESA registration in the country. Other signs of a scam are if the company says they will provide you with a cheap ESA. Since legitimate ESA letters take the time and effort of s doctor, they are not cheap. If you feel you are working with a company that is not legitimate, you should either do more research or choose a different company.

 

 

Choosing a Legitimate ESA Letter Company

Choosing a legitimate ESA service does not have to be confusing or difficult. Make sure the company you are working with has a physical location and that they have Licensed Mental Health Professionals on staff. Mango Clinic, for example, has both of these. They are also available seven days a week, their letters are valid in all states, and they offer a complete money-back guarantee. You can apply at their clinic or online. Best of all, they offer continued customer service after you get your letter just in case you require any assistance.

 

If you have a pet or want to get a pet to help with your mental or emotional issues, you should look into getting an ESA letter. This will ensure that you never have to be without your source of support no matter where you live or travel to.

 


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Top 10 FAQ About Emotional Support Animals

Cherished pets can be enormous sources of support and comfort to their owners. For those who are experiencing mental or emotional health issues, they can be especially helpful in providing relief from suffering and offering unconditional love. In many cases, an individual who suffers from an emotional or mental disability can get a special letter from a licensed mental health professional that designates their pet as an Emotional Support Animals (or ESA). Are you curious about what an ESA is and how you can get a verified letter so that your pet can benefit from the laws regarding ESAs? Read on for answers to frequently asked questions regarding Emotional Support Animals.

What is an Emotional Support Animal?

An Emotional Support Animal is not the same as a service animal, which requires special training and certification. ESAs do not have to be trained and can be any type of animal including a cat, dog, bird, hamster, reptile, or even a miniature pony or pot-bellied pig. Your ESA must be well-behaved and house-broken and cannot pose a danger to your neighbors or members of the general public. However, they do not need to perform any special tasks to be considered an ESA. Many people already own a pet that provides them with the support and comfort they need and will get a letter to certify their current pet as an ESA so they can benefit from housing and airline laws.

The main purpose of an ESA is to provide companionship, comfort, and support for their owners who are experiencing a mental or emotional disability. ESA may help those with PTSD, anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, social anxiety disorder, or other types of major emotional issues.

What Types of Animals Can Be ESAs?

Emotional Support Cat
Emotional Support Animal Cat

As stated above, almost any type of animal can qualify as an ESA as long as they provide the emotional support and comfort needed by their owner. Dogs and cats are the most common types of ESAs. Though some breeds are better at providing comfort than others, there is no legal requirement for your ESA to be a certain breed or type of animal. Dogs and cats make popular ESAs because they are the most popular types of pets in the United States and also because they are relatively easy to take care of and travel with. In addition, dogs and cats are easier to share physical contact with. This physical contact is often what provides the support and comfort their owners need.

 

It is legally possible for birds, rats, rabbits, snakes, monkeys, hedgehogs, and other animals to be certified as ESAs. However, they may pose a hazard to public safety, be difficult to care for or travel with or be insufficient in providing the physical comfort their owners need. Each case is evaluated individually by a licensed mental health professional to determine if the animal is providing sufficient comfort and support to qualify as an ESA.

 

How does ESA Dogs Differ from Therapy Dogs and Service Dogs?

Emotional Support Animal Rights
Emotional Support Animal Miami

There are many differences between ESA dogs, service dogs, and therapy dogs. An Emotional Support dog is specifically for those suffering from emotional or mental disabilities and is not trained to perform certain tasks. Instead, they act as a companion and source of emotional support to their owners in the form of therapy. For a person to designate their pet dog as an ESA, they must have a valid letter from a licensed mental health professional.

 

Service dogs, on the other hand, are specifically trained to help individuals with impairments such as seizures, hearing loss, visual impairment, post-traumatic stress disorder, or mobility impairments. They must be trained and certified as service dogs and benefit from being able to go anywhere their owners go.

 

Therapy dogs are typically not owned by the person they are treating. Instead, their owner takes them to facilities or locations where their support is needed such as nursing homes, hospitals, or mental health facilities. The therapy dogs are a source of comfort and support to those they visit with, but they do not stay with the individuals they are helping and go home with the owner after their visit concludes.

 

What are the Laws, Rules, and Regulations Related to ESAs?

There are two primary laws that relate to Emotional Service Animals.

The Fair Housing Amendment Act of 1988 (FHA) states that those with ESAs must be able to keep their pets with them even if they live in a housing facility with a no-pets policy. The landlord must also make suitable accommodations for their animal and cannot charge any extra fees such as pet fees or deposits related to the animal. ESAs must also be allowed into any ‘common area’ in the facility.

The second law is the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA). This law states that no airline can refuse the owner of an ESA or the ESA itself from air travel and that the ESA can travel in the cabin with its owner. The owner is also exempted from fees that may otherwise be charged to those who travel with pets. Passengers who intend to bring their ESAs with them on a flight should contact the airline prior to travel to verify their pet and alert the airline of their status.

 

Can I Own More Than One ESA?

Yes. The ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) makes allowances for those individuals who require more than one ESA to assist with their therapy. However, if you own more than one ESA, you may have to check with your landlord or airline if you plan on living with or flying with multiple ESAs.

 

Do I Need an ESA Letter?

To benefit from the laws that protect ESAs and their owners, you must have a valid Emotional Support Animal letter written by a licensed mental health professional. This letter must be written by an LMHP who has treated you or who has conducted a thorough health screening and determined you would benefit from an Emotional Support Animal. Most landlords and all airlines will require a valid ESA letter before they grant you the legal benefits of owning an ESA.

 

How Do I Qualify for an ESA Letter?

If you have an emotional or mental disability such as anxiety, ADHD, depression, agoraphobia, post-traumatic stress disorder, or other similar conditions, you may be able to qualify for an ESA. If you are currently seeing a licensed mental health professional, you can simply tell your therapist that you believe you would benefit from an ESA and ask them to write a letter verifying your condition and that your treatment would be enhanced by an ESA.

If you are not currently seeing a mental health professional, you can find a service online that will help connect you with one. Once you have been connected with an LMHP who is licensed to practice in your state, he or she will conduct a thorough health screening to determine what type of mental or emotional disability you suffer from and that you would benefit from an ESA. If you qualify, the LMHP will write you an ESA letter so you may benefit from the laws governing Emotional Support Animals.

 

How Can I Determine if My ESA Letter is Legitimate?

Ways to spot a fake ESA Letter
Ways to spot a fake ESA Letter – Mango Clinic

Unfortunately, there are many online companies who take advantage of those with mental or emotional disabilities and provide fake ESA letters. Once you know what to look for in an ESA letter, you can easily determine if the service you are working with is legitimate.

First, the service must have a licensed mental health professional on staff. You can ask for verification of this before you go through the process of paying for your ESA letter. Second, the LMHP must conduct a thorough health screening before they offer to write you an ESA letter. Without this screening, your letter will not be valid.

If the service says they offer ‘quick’ or ‘cheap’ ESA letters, it may be a good indication that they are not a legitimate service. ESA letters involve time and effort and therefore a cheap or quick alternative is generally invalid. You should also be aware that any service that offers to put your animal on an ‘Emotional Support Animal Registry’ is not legitimate. There are no official registries for ESAs and your ESA is not required to be registered anywhere to benefit from ESA laws.

 

Can My Request for an ESA Letter Be Denied?

Just because you ask your therapist or an online LMHP for an ESA letter does not guarantee you will get one. The mental health professional must legally perform a thorough health screening on you to determine what type of mental or emotional disability you suffer from and if this disability would be improved by the presence of an ESA. If the LMHP cannot verify your condition or does not think that an ESA would help your condition, your request for an ESA letter will be denied.

 

What Public Places Can I Bring My ESA to?

Your ESA can accompany you to any pet-friendly location throughout the world. In some cases, you may also be able to bring your ESA to locations that otherwise restrict the access of pets. For example, if you believe having your ESA with you in your place of employment is necessary for your therapy, the Fair Employment and Housing Act would apply and your employer would need to make suitable accommodations for you to bring your pet to work. You will also be able to have your ESA with you in your college dorm room or housing facility and you may also be able to take your pet with you to class in some cases.

When traveling, you are legally allowed to have your ESA with you in the cabin of the airplane and will not be charged any extra fees for doing so. Many hotels will also accommodate ESAs for their guests, though they are not legally required to do so. If you plan on traveling and staying in a hotel, always call first to find out if you will be able to keep your ESA in your room with you.

When it comes to restaurants and stores, you should always check their policies before attempting to bring your ESA in. While some restaurants and stores are pet-friendly or willing to make accommodations for ESAs, they are not legally obligated to do so. It is always smart to call ahead to see where your ESA will be welcome.

To Schedule your appointment please call us at (305)776-2898 or

In-person evaluations in our Miami Clinic click here.

Online ESA certification click here.

 

If you believe you have experienced discrimination in renting or buying a home, seeking housing assistance, or engaging in other housing-related activities, you can file a complaint with HUD.  Click here

 

 


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ESAs: Things You Need to Tell Your Landlord

Life with an Emotional Support Animal is better. Your Emotional Support Pet helps you deal with emotional or mental disorders you’re struggling with and they get the honor of being your helper. Your life is made better by the presence of your ESA, and you’re legally protected when it comes to keeping your ESA near. You might have some questions about renting and when an emotional support animal is allowed. Here is what you need to know if you plan on keeping an ESA in your rental apartment or home.

Do I Have to Tell My Landlord About My ESA Before Signing?

No. You are not legally required to tell your landlord about your Emotional Support Animal, even if the building doesn’t ordinarily allow pets. Emotional Support Animals have special legal privileges. You shouldn’t keep your Emotional Support Animal a secret, however, and it will help inspire mutual trust if you tell your landlord ahead of time. Legally, however, you aren’t required to tell them anything about your ESA before signing.  

Do I Need to Tell a Landlord If My ESA is Dangerous?

Yes. In most cases, your Emotional Support Animal is protected by law, and your landlord can’t discriminate. Your landlord has legal rights too, however. If your animal compromises the safety of other tenants in your building, the safety of their property, or if your ESA causes the landlord undue financial hardship, then your landlord can deny you and your ESA residency. Your landlord can evict you under these circumstances, and if you think your ESA might fall into one of those three categories, you should let your landlord know.

Do I Need to Tell My Landlord the Dog’s Breed?

No. You can feel free to share this information, but any dog is protected by law if they’re an Emotional Support Animal. Even a building that only allows small dogs can’t refuse your golden retriever or German shepherd. Emotional Support Animals are exempt from weight or breed discrimination, so you shouldn’t worry if your emotional support animal doesn’t fall under the building’s usual requirements.

Do I Need to Show a Landlord Proof that My Pet is an ESA?

Yes. Once your landlord knows you’re moving in with a pet, you’ll need to provide him or her proof of your animal’s service. In order for your animal to qualify as an Emotional Support Animal, you should have a letter from your doctor or therapist. It’s within your landlord’s legal rights to see this letter and to demand proof that your animal is, in fact, an ESA.

Do I Need to Explain My Disability?

Emotional Support Animal Letter in Miami
Emotional Support Animal Letter in Miami

No. In fact, asking any personal questions about your disability is illegal on the landlord’s part. You don’t need to share any personal information about your disability, how you got it, what it is, or how your Emotional Support Animal helps you cope. You legally have a right to keep this information private, and you can refuse to answer personal questions if your landlord asks them.

Your Emotional Support Animal doesn’t enjoy all the same rights as a service animal. Since your Emotional Support Animal isn’t as carefully trained as a service animal, they may not be let into all public buildings. You do, however, have a legal right to your Emotional Support Animal in your housing situation. Unless your Emotional Support Animal is dangerous or destructive, then your landlord is legally required to let them live with you. Whenever you move into a new building, it’s important to know your rights ahead of time and know what to tell your landlord.  

To schedule your in-person or online appointment call Mango Clinic at (305)776-2898

or schedule your  ESA letter appointment online here.


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