Are you a Fort Lauderdale condo owner fighting with your community association over their “no-pet” restriction?
Attorney Eric Glazer, writing for the Florida HOA Condo Blog, noted “In terms of an association requesting medical records from a resident, if the individual’s disability is apparent, and the need for the animal is obvious (i.e., guide dogs for the blind), an association cannot ask for such records. However, especially regarding requests to keep an animal by a person with emotional disabilities, a disability may not be readily apparent and therefore an association can ask for medical documentation.”
Mr. Glazer continues, “The more difficult issue is dealing with emotional support animals, when the resident has no outward physical disabilities, and even works all day while the animal remains at home. Until more of those types of cases are decided by our courts, and until healthcare professionals experience some consequences for, essentially, writing fake recommendations, rest assured this issue will be around for a while.”
Fort Lauderdale emotional support animals
For owners of Fort Lauderdale emotional support animals, the Federal governing laws are the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA). Laws like the ACAA provide specific guidelines for individuals traveling with an Emotional Support Animal or service animal.
To qualify for a Fort Lauderdale ESA letter and its protections, individuals must have a valid ESA letter, which serves as a recommendation for the ESA.
On his blog, Mr. Glazer also writes, “While I don’t like saying this (or maybe I do), associations should consult with their attorneys before making any decision regarding requests for accommodations to no-pet rules. Each request needs to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis because the last thing an association should do is summarily deny a legitimate request, just because there are a lot of frauds currently going around.”
We wonder if Mr. Glazer is referring to “fake” Emotional Support Animal letters, as not all online sources are legitimate, in full accordance with the law, and comply with airline policies.
Not all Fort Lauderdale ESA letters are created equal.
There are a few things to keep in mind when acquiring an online Fort Lauderdale ESA letter.
- The letter must be recommended an by a licensed mental health professional. Preferably a psychologist or psychiatrist.
- The letter demonstrates an emotional or mental disability.
- Additionally, the letter must indicate that the animal is a “reasonable accommodation,” i.e., assistive-aide similar to a wheelchair, benefitting the individual.
- Finally, the letter states the animal offers emotional support.
Like most things, it’s best to do your research before paying.
One red-flag for us is the bogus “ESA registration,” as that’s completely meaningless.
It’s critical to make sure you’re dealing with a licensed mental health professional who will review your online mental health screening and recommend your ESA letter.
DISCLAIMER: We are not lawyers, so please do not take the preceding as legal advice.