Law

How-To Guide for Holding Assistance Animals in Rental Housing

12/29/2016 Dhanur Chauhan 0 Comments

Companion animals can play a huge role in assisting physically disabled individuals. In recent times, research has revealed that companion animals can provide great emotional support to individuals with mental or emotional imbalances. Dogs have turned into an assistive device much like a wheelchair or a walking stick.

Having an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) might sound simple. The problem arises when your landowner imposes a “NO PETS” policy, and you need assistance or support from an animal. However, there are laws that generally require the landowner to make an exception based on the tenants’ disability, so that they can lead a comfortable living. This doesn’t include only physical disabilities, but also mental and emotional impairments.


Laws are here to support you

The Fair Housing Act supports the ESA requestors by making it illegal for a landlord to discriminate a person in lodging because of their physical or mental disability. The same holds for both public and private housing.  Discrimination against a disabled person will lead to denial of assistance animals or service in housing.

To request for an emotional support animal letter you have to demonstrate that you’re emotionally or mentally disabled and that a support animal will lessen the effects of your impairment. Some landlords will have legitimate reason for a no-pets policy. In such cases, an ESA letter will help them identify the real need of supportive animal for their tenants. They can very well make some exceptions for an ESA letter holder, and this also helps them weed out those who just want a pet for company.

What steps can you take to get the landowner change their no-pets policy? To approach a landlord and to get them make a reasonable accommodation, you need to follow a few simple tactics, like:
  1. Try an honest approach
  2. Try and be honest with your landlord about your disability. They might settle to your keeping a pet, provided you agree to certain terms. You’re simply requesting a reasonable accommodation under the federal law. By being honest with your request, you get the opportunity to maintain an open and friendly relationship with your landlord.
  3. What if the honest approach fails? You have to demonstrate your disability to supply the required information for obtaining an emotional support animal letter. For an impairment demonstration, you don’t need to supply any private medical particulars about the disability; instead, you must prove that your disability would be impossible to control without a support animal. Most significantly, you must be ready to show that the companion animal helps you in day-to-day activities. The animal in essence should serve a therapeutic function. 
  4. Can you keep your pet under control? Once you have proven the need for an animal companion, it’s essential that you discuss with your landowner how to keep your animal under control. This is important because the animal may cause damage,or disturb other tenants living in the same society. You need to set some ways to safeguard your animal.
It’s very important that you maintain a good relationship with your landlord. Just as how an animal can be of emotional support to you, interpersonal relationship among individuals is also essential for your well-being.