Emotional Support Animal (ESA) is a service animal that provides therapeutic benefits to a person with a mental or emotional disability.
In some cases, an individual may need an ESA Letter for Housing in order to live with his or her companion animal in a rental property that may otherwise not allow pets. An ESA Letter for Residential Living is a document written by a licensed mental health professional that verifies the individual’s need for an emotional support animal in living arrangements.
This letter provides important documentation to support your right to live with your ESA in a home where pets are not allowed. If you’re considering requesting an ESA Letter of Accommodation, there are several important things to consider:
Verification of your need: In order to qualify for an ESA letter for housing, you must have a verifiable mental health condition that meets the criteria set forth in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). A mental health professional can assess whether an ESA is needed and whether an ESA letter is appropriate.
Find a licensed mental health professional: An ESA letter for a residential setting must be written by a licensed mental health professional, such as a therapist or a psychiatrist. Before asking for help, be sure to check the professional’s credentials.
Understanding of requirements: The ESA letter must appear on the practitioners’ letterhead and contain his or her license number and contact information. You should describe your emotional condition and the therapeutic value of your emotional support animal.
Find free options: There are some websites that offer free ESA placement letters, but you should be cautious as many of these may not be legitimate. To obtain a valid and legally binding ESA letter, it is important to work with a licensed mental health professional.
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You will need to present your housing ESA letter to your landlord or property management company once you have received it. Even if they have a no-pet policy, they are legally required to make reasonable accommodations to allow you to live with your emotional support animal.
To summarize, an ESA Letter of Accommodation is an important document that can help you live with your emotional support animal in a rental property that otherwise prohibits pets. Be sure to consult a licensed mental health professional and follow the steps necessary to obtain a valid and legally binding ESA letter if you believe you may need one.