Fair Housing Act information

by Sue on May 11, 2011

I have been getting many questions and requests for information concerning emotional Support Animals and their rights when it comes to housing. I recently came across a fantastic 12 page article which covers pretty much anything you need to know.


Keep in mind that you have to have Adobe Reader to access the article. Adobe Reader is free and safe for all computers.

Sussie and Gunny

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 crystalwolfakacaligrl 05.29.11 at 4:17 pm

My Dr. recently wrote me a similar letter to what’s on the website, I’m being thrown out of my house I’ve lived in for 34 yrs. She is tearing it down. Anyway no one will rent to people with dogs. My issue is that you have to reveal info that would normally be subject to HIPPA laws!
I am getting a tag similar to the one to the right. But I think I have found a house in a RV park where dogs are allowed. But there should be some way to document this without violating private info and although I didn’t use the work ESA dog I wrote that I had a letter from a Dr. and she was a therapy dog. (Therapeutic) I was rudely reminded NO DOGS ❗

Obviously they don’t know or care about any Housing laws.

2 sussie 05.29.11 at 4:24 pm

Keep in mind that Therapy dogs and Emotional Support Dogs are NOT the same. Therapy dogs have no special rights. I would suggest that you get a Housing Accommodation form, fill it out and submit it to the landlord. If they still refuse, you can take legal action as they have just broken a law.

3 Amy 06.12.11 at 9:59 pm

I have a couple of questions that I am not finding answers to.

The first one is when I first moved in to my apartment which has a no pet policy I had a dog which I which I went through the paperwork to have which I did. I have lived here for about 4 years. A year 1/2 ago I got a kitten which I didn’t get prior approval but later told my landlords & they said no more. This year I was told because I didn’t get prior approval for her I have to get rid of her or do the paperwork to keep her which I haven’t recieved yet.

The next question is:
About a week 1/2 ago I had to put my dog down due to health & age reasons. I told my landlord this and mentioned getting another dog & they told me I would need to reapply to have a dog & I would need to get rid of my cat since I didn’t get permission to have her. Now I had someone tell me that if Dr., writes a letter stating I need both & why that they can’t make me get rid of my cat is this correct? One other tidbit of info is when my landlord came & told me I had to get rid of my cat was at inspection time & I didn’t have the litter box cleaned very good so it smelled in my apartment so she is using that against me to.

Sorry for the long questions but I don’t know where to find answers & I want to know what is correct.

4 sussie 06.12.11 at 10:25 pm

If you have your Doctor state that you need an Emotional Support Animal, you have the cat’s ID and a housing accommodation form, then legally they cannot ask you to remove the cat.


If you are not cleaning up after the cat. This can possibly create a hazard to your health (Ammonia, which causes respiratory problems and/or headaches. Toxoplasmosis, which according to the Center for Disease Control has been proven to cause schizophrenia like symptoms in humans), the cat’s health and damage the apartment(the apartment can absorb cat box odors which are impossible to get rid of). That can be legal grounds for asking you to remove the cat.

Even service dogs can be legally removed from a premises if they are causing damage.

5 Amy 07.04.11 at 11:06 pm

I have another question. If I were to find a different home for my cat like my landlord wants but have my Dr. write a letter for a dog can my landlord say “No” because I didn’t always get my dogs poop picked up right away. Which was in the winter & especially this past winter because I slipped & fell on ice & hurt my back & knee. BTW my landlord is saying I constantly didn’t pick up after my dog.

Also I think I am going to find a different home for my cat because I am finding that as I spend more time with her that I am having increased allergy issues.


6 Olivia 08.23.14 at 3:28 am


I’d like to know what further steps I can take, my apartment complex is telling me that I can not keep all 3 of my cat’s. I would like to know what steps I can take to keeping them? They are not only my service pet’s, they are also my part of my family.

Can you please help me understand what more I can do for this situation as I am very unhappy!

7 Sue 08.26.14 at 4:20 pm

I am sorry, but as of March 15th, 2011 the ADA passed the following law…

“Beginning on March 15, 2011, only dogs are recognized as service animals under titles II and III of the ADA. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals for the purposes of this definition”

So, unfortunately, your cats can no longer be classified as service animals according to law.

8 Kristen sheldon 09.11.14 at 9:51 pm

Hello my question is I have a licensed service dog, the apartments where I live have a no animal policy. The manager is telling us we have to get rid of our dog, what do we do?

9 Olivia 01.26.15 at 11:39 am

My landlord is evicting me after I have given him documentation of my condition for my emotional support animal. My dog is housebroken, and doesn’t damage the property. What are the age requirements for emotional support animals? What can I do?

Thank you

10 Sue 02.02.15 at 3:34 pm

There are no age requirements for an ESA.

11 Kim 02.16.15 at 2:46 pm

Is there an approved form that the agency provides, for owner to fill out and have signed by their doctors? If so, would you please send me a copy?
Thank you

12 Kim 02.16.15 at 2:47 pm

This is for emotional support animals

13 Deb 08.28.15 at 12:04 pm

I have a registered and MD supported ESA. I live in an animal permitted apt.
Do I have to pay “pet rent” for my dog?

14 Sue 09.09.15 at 10:33 am


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