Law That Protects ESA Owners - 2022 Guide
In this article, I will assist you in determining all of the essential ESA rules that you may not be aware of, so continue reading if you are interested in learning more about them. The ESA laws differ from state to state as local governments such as those of New York, Florida, or California have established their own set of rules that govern the housing and traveling of pets. However, one rule that is common among all states is that a person can only keep an ESA pet if he or she has an ESA Letter issued by a licensed professional. The non-fulfillment of this requirement makes it impossible to house a pet or travel with it where it is forbidden.
Many people do not know that ESA owners are protected under Fair Housing Act (FHA). Since it is a federal level act, so it is applicable to all the people living in the US irrespective of their state. According to this act, all landlords are bound to moderately accommodate those pets who are for the emotional support of the tenant. This means that even if the tenant lives in a building or an area that prohibits pets, the landlord still forbids the tenant from keeping an ESA.
ESA Housing Laws
Many housing societies in the United States do not allow pets within the premises of the building due to fear of disturbance they may cause to the neighbors. However, since emotional support animals are for therapeutic purposes, not even landlords or building administration could forbid a person to use a pet even if the person is living in a condo or co-ops. This rule is enacted under the Fair Housing Act. A provision of this act recognizes ESA’s like a reasonable accommodation.
However, it is not at a person’s discretion to decide whether his/her pet s for emotional support purpose or not as this decision could only be taken by a mental health professional such as a certified counselor after proper assessment. If the counselor issue you an emotional support animal letter, only then you can claim the housing accommodation of your pet. Even if you believe that your pet is critical for your mental and emotional health, you still need validation from a professional.
The housing law is governed by the HUD which is a government agency. If you feel discriminated against by your landlord on the matter of housing your emotional support animal, you can contact this agency. If they find your complaint valid, guidance will be released for your landlord to comply with rules concerning ESA’s housing.
Some important housing rights that you must be aware of as an ESA owner are given below. All of them are covered under FHA:
Your housing provider cannot impose restrictions on your ESA on the basis of type, breed, size, or any other characteristic of your pet.
Your landlord is not permitted to charge an additional fee for housing an ESA.
Your landlord cannot ask you to provide a detailed description of your mental health condition or medical history before accepting the letter.
Although pet owners are highly protected under FHA, the law does not unfairly treat the housing providers or landlords as it gives them the autonomy to deny the accommodation of an ESA if the pet imposed an additional financial burden on the housing provider. Besides, if the pet poses a threat to the safety and health of other members of the building then the esa letter for housing can be rejected by the landlord. Nonetheless, the burden of proof to justify the rejection of the letter will remain on the landlord.
ESA Travelling Laws
Individuals who suffer from mental or emotional trauma need the presence of their emotional support animal all the time including when they are traveling from one place to another. Previously, DOT mandated the accommodation of pets in the cabin on an airplane free of any charge but now the guidelines have been revised. The airlines are no longer required to necessarily accommodate emotional support animals and board them in the cabin free of charge.
If you are someone who keeps an animal for emotional support then you must be aware of all the laws that may concern you or your pet. You may believe that having an ESA pet is easy because all you need is a letter and then you may take your pet wherever you want, but this is not the reality.
But worry not! Some airlines, both domestic and international, still allow you to keep your pets with you even on flights, free of any charges. Nonetheless, these airlines are not bound by any law to do so, rather they do it as a voluntary act. For more information regarding an ESA letter visit realesaletter.com.
Some of the rules that you must know if you are traveling with your pet on a flight that participially accommodates an ESA include the following:
The airline must accommodate the ESA without taking any extra charges.
The airline should not discriminate among ESA pets such as dogs or cats. All of them should be allowed equally.
The airline cannot deny the boarding of a certain ESA due to its breed.
The airline can deny the boarding of an ESA if the pet imposes a threat to the safety of other passengers.
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