Rights Vs. Restrictions ─ Can Apartments Charge For Emotional Support Animals?

A 2023 study found that 99% of those with emotional support animals had an increased sense of motivation in their everyday lives. Even better is that 97% had less anxiety and 89% had fewer panic attacks.

Naturally, you’d want to have these creatures with you at all times to reap the maximum benefits. However, it can be difficult to find animal-friendly housing. And even if you do, landlords may try to tack on additional fees and rent.

Can apartments charge for emotional support animals though? Read on to find out.

What Are Emotional Support Animals?

Before we get into laws regarding rental fees for emotional support animals (ESAs), let’s first define what they are. This will give you a better understanding of the subject.

Many people mistake ESAs for pets, but there’s a marked difference. While owners will have strong bonds with their ESAs like with pets, these animals are “prescribed” to assist with mental health issues.

On the other hand, ESAs aren’t service animals either. On the subject of emotional support animals vs. service dogs, the former don’t need formal training to do tasks, while the latter do.


Can Apartments Charge for Emotional Support Animals?

The good news is that your landlord can’t charge you for having an ESA. This is thanks to the Fair Housing Act (FHA), which prohibits discrimination in housing based on disability.

This means that even if the property you’re in has a “no pets” policy, you must be allowed to live there, and you can’t be kicked out for having an animal. In addition, your landlord can’t charge you a pet fee or deposit for your ESA, as it’s not your pet.

Do note that you may still be responsible for any damages caused by your animal. Also, if your ESA poses a threat to other tenants or causes significant disturbances, your landlord can take action within the bounds of the law.

How to Get an Emotional Support Animal

You must first consult with a mental health professional to determine if having an ESA would be beneficial for your treatment. If they believe it would, then they can provide you with an emotional support animal letter. This should be written on their professional letterhead and include specific information, such as their license number and date of issue.

With an ESA letter, you can choose an appropriate animal as your companion. Learn about emotional support animals to narrow down your choices. Next, inform your landlord and provide them with the ESA letter.


Get the Mental Health Support You Need Without Worry

Now you know the answer to the question, “Can apartments charge for emotional support animals?” Your landlord can’t charge for your ESA, nor can they cease renting to you because of it (unless your animal is causing a nuisance or posing a threat to others).

If you’d like to have an emotional support animal with you in your dwelling, then make sure you go through the proper channels to get one.

Keep reading our blog page for more pet and animal blog posts.

About Nina Smith