Most rental properties have standard pet policies in place to address issues related to pets. These policies typically include:

·      Pet Deposits: Many landlords require a pet deposit to cover potential damages caused by pets during the lease term. This deposit is typically refundable, minus any deductions for damages.

·      Monthly Pet Rent: In addition to a pet deposit, some landlords charge monthly pet rent. This fee is non-refundable and is added to your regular rent.

·      Breed and Size Restrictions: Some properties may have restrictions on specific dog breeds or impose size limits on pets.

·      Pet Agreements: Rental agreements often include a pet addendum outlining the rules and responsibilities of pet owners, including cleaning up after your pet and ensuring they do not disturb other tenants.

Navigating Pet Policies: Understanding ESA and Service Animal Rights

Finding a pet-friendly rental is often the first hurdle for pet owners, but what if your pet isn’t a typical cat or dog? An Emotional Support Animal (ESA) or a Service Animal provides essential assistance to individuals with specific needs. However, navigating the world of rental housing with these special companions can be a bit more complex. 

Emotional Support Animal Registration

An ESA dog or other animal provides emotional support and comfort to individuals with mental health conditions. Unlike service animals, ESAs are not trained to perform specific tasks but are recognized as essential to a person’s mental well-being.

Under the Fair Housing Act (FHA), landlords are generally required to make reasonable accommodations for tenants with ESAs, even if their property has a “no pets” policy. This means that you cannot be denied housing or charged extra fees for your ESA.

Obtaining an Emotional Support Animal registration involves consulting a licensed mental health professional to assess your mental health condition and determine whether an ESA is a suitable part of your treatment plan. If your mental health professional believes an ESA can benefit you, they will provide you with an Emotional Support Animal letter. This letter should be on their professional letterhead and include specific details, such as your diagnosis, the necessity of an ESA, and the therapist’s contact information.

Service Animal Registration

Service animals are highly trained to perform specific tasks to assist individuals with disabilities. These tasks can include guiding individuals who are blind, alerting individuals who are deaf, or providing physical assistance to those with mobility impairments.

Similar to ESAs, service animals are protected under the FHA when it comes to housing accommodations. Landlords cannot discriminate against individuals with disabilities who require service animals.

To qualify as a service animal, your animal must be individually trained to perform specific tasks that mitigate your disability. Professional trainers can provide this training or you can do it yourself, provided the animal successfully performs the necessary functions.

No official service dog registration or service dog certification is required for service animals under the ADA. Be cautious of organizations or websites claiming to provide “official” service animal registration or certification, as federal law does not recognize these.

You may be eager to learn how to present your pet for landlord approval effectively. Next, we will discuss making a persuasive case for your beloved animal companion. Discover the strategies that can enhance your chances of securing a pet-friendly rental and ensuring a harmonious living environment for both you and your pet. 

By Admin