If your emotional support animal causes destruction or a disturbance at your rental property, the landlord has the right to charge extra fees to cover the damage. It is your responsibility to manage your ESA’s behavior the same as it is your landlord’s responsibility to follow the Fair Housing Act laws.
While the FHA, ADA and other laws provide protection for ESA owners the concept of an emotional support animal is still new. There are many property owners who are not aware of the legal requirements set into place to accommodate an ESA. Additionally, the current laws do not provide complete protection for ESA owners.
It is important that all ESA owners recognize their legal rights and their responsibilities. Even when they have their legal rights challenged, ESA owners should work hard to stay calm. Arguing with a landlord may make the situation worse, so seek the appropriate help to resolve the situation.
What To Do If You Think Your Rights Are Violated
Emotional support animal owners have several options to get guidance and help if they feel that their rights violated. Some of the most common options include:
- Ensuring the property owner is aware of the law that applies to the emotional support animals. It is just as important for landlords to understand what their rights are as it is for ESA owners.
- If a property owner disagrees with a ESA owner and doesn’t follow the FHA laws, a complaint may be filed with the U.S. Justice Department against the property owner due to discrimination.
- With the right type of legal guidance, a tenant may have the option to sue the property owner for discrimination.
- It is important that ESA owners follow the law as well and ensure that their animal is a reasonable choice. Also, the owner should keep their animal in order at all times so that it isn’t a danger to other tenants or visitors.