21 Mar Emotional Support Animals – What are they? Do all animals qualify?
Emotional support animals have been in the news a lot in recent years as it’s not been uncommon to see people with every conceivable emotional support animal from dogs, snakes, and cats, to small horses.
The big question is what exactly is an emotional support animal, and do all animals qualify?
In this article, we will answer this question and offer you several tips that you can use for understanding emotional support animals, and how to know to respond to one of your tenants if they want to have one live in their unit, or rental property.
What Are Emotional Support Animals?
To be legally considered an emotional support animal, the animal has to be prescribed by a mental health professional who is licensed in the State of California, or the state where the owner of that animal previously lived.
An emotional support animal is an animal that has a specific emotional connection with its owner and the psychiatrist or therapist must be able to determine if the animal is necessary to relieve the depression or mental illness of the owner.
Tenants Must Prove That Their Animal Is An Emotional Support Animal
Once a tenant, or applicant, can prove that they are legally allowed to have an emotional support animal, they cannot be discriminated against because tenants who have emotional support animals are protected under Federal Laws including the Fair Housing Act.
Tenants must be prepared to present their landlords with a signed letter from their health care provider or mental health professional which states that the tenant must have that emotional support animal living with them.
Do all animals qualify as emotional support animals? The short answer to this question is yes because if an animal doesn’t have any specific task, like a service dog, that animal can be classified as an emotional support animal by a mental health professional.
As long as the emotional support animal doesn’t have a history of harming others, the landlord is legally required to allow their tenant to have their emotional support animal living with them.
Contact MW Real Estate Group
For more information about emotional support animals, or to speak with us about our property management services, contact us today by calling (213) 924-2117 or click here to connect with us online.