According to the Federal Fair Housing Act, an Emotional Support Animal is considered an “Assistance Animal.” As such, this animal shall be provided access to all reasonable accommodations.
Should any of the following have occurred, it’s possible your rights were violated as protected by the Fair Housing Act.
Your Assistance Animal is:
- Denied housing due to its breed, weight, or size.
- Denied housing because the housing provider’s insurance coverage prohibits certain breeds.
- Denied housing because it is not a service animal.
- Being charged a pet rent, fee, or deposit.
- Being denied access to common areas: swimming pool, clubhouse, fitness center, or any other common use area.
- Prohibited from living within city limits because of its breed.
- Required to be inspected or interviewed.
- Required to have a service dog certificate, registration, proof of training.
Additionally, it may be problematic if your housing provider
- will only accept a medical doctor’s letter
- require direct contact with, or require additional from from your healthcare provider
- The clinician who issued your emotional support animal documentation should have “personal knowledge” of your disability and be in the best “position to know.”
- If your clinician is providing ESA letters, yet doesn’t fully understand the regulations surrounding assistance animals, they are very likely not complying with their licensing requirements with regards to practicing within their scope of knowledge.
- We apologize, but we cannot answer any legal questions surrounding this documentation. We’re not lawyers, and really, do you want legal advice from folks who aren’t attorneys?
Chaz Stevens is an entrepreneur, former journalist, and well-known activist who has appeared on the front pages of Time, Miami Herald, Guardian, Slate, and the Huffington Post. He’s also appeared on The Daily Show, the Colbert Report, and Fox News.
Chaz lives in South Florida with his two rescue dogs. Before launching ESAD International, he could be found working on IT for IBM, Microsoft, and The Walt Disney World Company. But his favorite job is the one he’s now doing full time — helping people get to a better place.