Looking to validate the “reliability of the letter,” housing providers now have more tools at their disposal to weed out fraudulent documents. Speaking directly with your clinician, landlords will verify the authenticity of an ESA letter by inquiring about the nature and length of the therapeutic relationship. It’s all about answering the question “was the clinician in a position to know.”
Combating Internet fraud
Along with an assessment for an assistance animal, several states have enacted laws such as:
- Clinicians can no longer be engaged specifically to only assess / document a client’s need for an assistance animal. The letter may not be prepared by a practitioner whose sole service to the person requesting the accommodation is preparation of the written documentation for a fee.
- The letter must be reliable, based on direct knowledge of the person’s disability and disability-related need for the assistance.
- Clinicians must engage in therapeutic sessions with the client.
State specific laws
The following states have additional restrictive legislation regarding emotional support animals.