Many people have lately decided to get an emotional support animal (ESA). These animals are meant to help people with a variety of emotional and mental conditions. Someone with a mental condition may feel less isolated and more comfortable with an ESA. An ESA may provide support for these people in various ways. These animals can help them cope with anxiety, depression, PTSD, and other symptoms.
While this is great for those who are in need of this type of support, there are some people who do not want to take care of an animal or allow it into their complex. This can cause problems for both the person and the animal. For example, many animals can cause allergies or be harmful to other people in the home. An emotional support animal may also pose a risk to others nearby if they decide to become aggressive or violent towards others in the home. It is important that everyone involved knows their rights when it comes to someone having an emotional support animal.
Can Your Landlord Evict You and Your ESA?
The first thing that you need to know is that while these animals are covered under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), they are not recognized to be the same caliber as a service. This means that they are not always protected by federal and state laws.
When it comes to housing laws, you should take into account the Federal Fair Housing Act (FHA). This act ensures equality for people with disabilities. The FHA states that housing providers cannot discriminate against people who have disabilities. This means that you cannot be evicted simply because of your emotional support animal.
In addition, landlords are required to provide you with reasonable accommodation under the FHA. This means that you should be able to keep your emotional support animal with you in your home. They also cannot charge you with pet deposits or extra fees. If your landlord tries to evict you because of your emotional support animal, they can be held liable for any damages that come from their actions.
How to Avoid Eviction Due to an ESA
Despite these protections you have, there are still exceptions to the FHA. One of these exceptions is when an emotional support animal causes a nuisance to other tenants or their property. This means that if your ESA is harming other people or their property, they can evict you for it.
In addition, while they can’t charge you with extra fees simply for owning an emotional support animal, they can charge you under certain circumstances. If your emotional support animal damages their property, for instance, they can charge you with an additional fee.
Finally, a landlord can refuse to rent you a unit if accommodating your emotional support animal causes them “undue financial hardship.” This can include not being able to fit your animal properly; for example, there’s no way a landlord can accommodate a tenant with a miniature horse for a small apartment unit. They can also deny you if your animal causes a substantial disruption to the rental community.
KimKim is a talented author, who loves animals especially dogs. She engaged in writing books and articles relating to animals a decade ago. Kim resides in Chicago with her husband and son. The family is the proud owner of a dog and a parrot (Jack and Lily). Kim wanted more than these two pets, but her husband put his foot down... She often visits elementary schools to talk to the kids about what she learned about pets and how they could learn from them.
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