Service Animals

What is the Fair Housing Act & Why it Matters for ESA Owners?

If you own an emotional support animal, you know this comes with many wonderful benefits. Your support animal boosts your mood, brings joy and laughter into your life, and provides a source of consistent love and affection. You may not know that your emotional support animal and the rights you have with it are protected by the Fair Housing Act.

What Is the Fair Housing Act?

The Fair Housing Act protects people from discrimination when they are renting or buying a home, getting a mortgage, seeking housing assistance, or engaging in other housing-related activities. This means discrimination based on race, color, gender, family status, disability, and religion are prohibited. This Act was set in place in 1968 by President Lyndon Johnson, around the same time the Civil Rights Act was signed.

How It Relates to Emotional Support Animals

The Fair Housing Act protects people with disabilities and accommodations they may need, in this case, emotional support animals. If you have a licensed therapist or medical professional write you an emotional support animal letter of certification, you can live anywhere with your emotional support animal, regardless of pets being prohibited, and you do not have to pay pet fees. This is because it is considered a necessary accommodation due to a mental health struggle. The same applies for service animals for both physical and mental disabilities.

Service animals are however protected under the American Disabilities Act and have more freedoms because of it. Service animals are considered necessary medical equipment and can be taken virtually anywhere you go, whereas emotional support animals cannot.

In conclusion, understanding your rights under the Fair Housing Act is important as the owner of an emotional support animal. You cannot be denied housing by a landlord because of your emotional support animal or be charged a pet fee. This is valuable to know if you are searching for a new place to live. If you need an emotional support animal letter of certification, look no further then the experts at United Support Animals. Contact us today to get your letter!