There are many laws in place that protect the rights of people with disabilities. One such law is the Fair Housing Act, which protects a person from being discriminated against because of their disability status. With this protection, your landlord cannot refuse you housing because you have an emotional support animal. But what if they don’t know about it? What do you need to tell them before moving into a new apartment or home?
Here’s what landlords should know about emotional support animals and how it might affect them!
1. What Is An Emotional Support Animal And Why Do They Need To Be Accommodated In Housing Situations?
An emotional support animal is a special type of pet that provides therapeutic benefits to people with disabilities. The Fair Housing Act states: “The term ‘handicapped’ refers not only to a person who has an impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, such as walking, seeing, hearing, and working; but also includes any person who (I) has a record of such an impairment; (ii) is regarded by others as having such an impairment; or (iii) has been misclassified as having such an impairment.” This means your landlord cannot refuse you housing because you have something like depression or anxiety. They will need to make reasonable accommodations for the handicap in order to allow you to live there. But what if they refuse you to live there in the first place? Landlords are not required to provide housing for handicapped people, but if they do – you’re entitled to reasonable accommodations. If your landlord does not want an emotional support animal on their property, that is a violation of federal law under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
2. Why Landlords Should Allow ESAs In Their Building
Landlords cannot refuse you housing because of your disability or an ESA. They must make reasonable accommodations for the handicap in order to allow you to live there.
If a landlord does not want an emotional support animal on their property, that is a violation of federal law under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. You can report them and they will be fined by thousands if proven guilty (check “Emotional Support Animals – HUD & A Brief Guide” section).
3. How To Find A Landlord That Will Accept Your ESA
Finding a perfect landlord that accepts ESA is not an easy task. It is important to research the building very well before applying for it, looking especially at their pet policy.
There are buildings that have restrictions on pets and there are buildings that do not accept any kind of animal (dogs, birds, etc). If you find one with a restriction on size or breed then chances are they won’t let your ESA live in this building either. So look into other options too!
If you are struggling to find a landlord that will accept your ESA, check the HUD website for listings.
4. What Kinds Of Things Can Be Done If You’re Not Able To Find A Landlord Who Accepts ESAs
There is a list of things you can do:
– such as get a friend to help you with the rent.
– look into a room rental.
– ask your family for help with the rent or to let you live in their house as a renter that they allow animals on. These are just some options, but there is always something else out there! Do not go broke paying rent if it means breaking up with your ESA because of rules from landlords.
5. The Legal Ramifications For Denying Someone’s ESA Request Or Evicting Them Due To Having An ESA
It is against the law to discriminate based on any of these things:
– National Origin
(this includes refusing service)
(employers have to do their best to accommodate race or color if it affects your work life or employment.) – Familial Status (the same as above for renters with children in a family). And… you guessed it! Emotional Support Animals are included here. So yup! A landlord cannot deny housing due to an ESA. Not only that but they can’t even evict someone because they have one either. This applies whether the person has documentation proving this pet is needed medically OR not, which brings us back around full circle. So it’s not about the ESA, but rather that people are protected under this law for having an assistance animal of any sort.
6. Tips On How To Make Sure The Housing Situation Is As Comfortable As Possible With Your New Pet Friend (Elevate Food Bowls, Provide Lots Of Toys, Etc.)
1. Provide your pet with a comfy bed and plenty of toys to play with
2. Keep the space as clean as possible, including changing litter boxes regularly
3. Give them fresh water every day and make sure they have food in case you’re gone for long periods of time
4. Make sure there is a source of natural light so that they can feel safe and secure
5. Create a routine so that your pets know what to expect from you on any given day
6. Get rid of any items around the house that may cause harm or discomfort to your animal(s) – this includes plants, chemicals, electrical cords, etc., anything that might be harmful or toxic should be removed from their reach.
7. Provide a litter box and food/water dish for your pet
8. Make sure the space is large enough for your animal to move around in
9. Keep the area free of any hazardous materials, such as toxic plants or cleaning supplies
10. Give them some toys to play with and a place they can call their own
11. Ensure that there’s no way they could get outside when you’re not home
12. Set up an indoor feeding station if necessary.
In conclusion, make sure you know whether or not an animal is allowed at this place before moving forward, and don’t be afraid to talk about your needs with potential places/landlords even though they may say no right away once telling them about having an emotional support animal. Just keep looking until finding the perfect spot where both sides can be happy together without any issues!