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A Complete Guide To Getting An ESA Housing Letter For Renters

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Most landlords are not big on pets. Most of them believe that pets increase the chances of risks occurring. Maybe risks from hurt or irritated neighbors to property damage. But is it true? Let’s look at a few facts about renters with pets.

The Facts

  • 70 percent of renters own a pet.
  • 65 percent of pet owners earn more than those who don’t (above $50,000 per year).
  • Renters with pets prefer longer tenancy because they experience hard times qualifying for rent.
  • Most pet owners make accountable and responsible tenants.
  • Tenants with pets are prepared to pay higher rent.

Despite all that, emotional support dogs rarely get the credit they deserve. They are always there for you when you’re feeling down and make a great companion when you’re depressed. But, if you don’t have your own home, keeping your emotional support animal in a rental unit can be nerve-racking.

According to the Fair Housing Amendment Act, an ESA letter is your best bet to keeping your emotional support dog in most rental units. What is an ESA letter? When and why is it important?

To help you get started, we’ve compiled some of the frequently asked questions about an emotional support housing letter.

When Do I Need an ESA Letter? 

An ESA letter comes in handy when you’re looking for a new place to rent and when using public transport particularly traveling with your emotional support animal. In both instances, you need to prove that your dog is not an average pet.

How Do I Qualify for An ESA Letter?

Pets bring companionship to our lives. Dogs, in particular, can help reduce depression, stress, and anxiety. For people struggling with mental illness, they can help in finding purpose in life and improving their quality of life.

To qualify for an ESA letter, you are usually taken under consideration by a qualified mental health expert. They will have to to verify your condition and give the letter. That is,  if you meet the requirements.

Can I Apply for The ESA Letter Online

Yes, it is possible to apply for the letter online. However, it is important that you only request for the letter from a website that has a licensed mental health professional who is compliant with the state laws.

There are rules and regulations governing the issuance of ESA letters. It is highly advisable to only obtain the letter from websites that observe all the regulations.

Are There Any Requirements That My Dog Should Meet? 

There are no basic requirements that your dog has to meet. However, you should understand that even with the ESA letter, you are still responsible for the actions of your dog.

Train your pet not to be violent or aggressive. The ESA emotional support letter entitles you to certain legal benefits and having an aggressive pet can compromise the safety of other tenants. Your pet also needs to be toilet trained and know how to behave in closed spaces to avoid complications and damages.

Are There Any Exceptions When Living with an ESA?

The Fair Housing Amendments Acts covers a majority of the housing options. But there are a few exceptions. An emotional housing letter does not apply in the following cases;

If the home is a single-family home that is sold or rented without using a broker.

The house is owned by a specific registered club or a registered organization.

A building has four or fewer units with the landlord occupying one of the buildings.

What If a Landlord Rejects My ESA Letter?

Legally, a landlord cannot deny an accommodation request if you have an ESA letter. However, some landlords can request a 100% refundable deposit to protect them against damages caused by pets.

If a qualified mental health professional prescribes the housing letter, landlords cannot reject your accommodation request. Additionally, landlords can’t impose additional fees on your pet.

Finding accommodation with your emotional support dog shouldn’t be difficult. As long as you have the right documents, securing accommodation will be easy and straightforward. Need assistance? Call us at (888) 877-0019 or visit us at

Get Your ESA Today


Due to the new Department of Transportation (DOT) policy, Emotional Support Animals are NO longer allowed to fly in airplane cabins for free. However, Psychiatric Service Dogs are eligible.

ESA or PSA Certification?

The benefits of an Emotional Support Animal certification and a Psychiatric Service Dog certification are drastically different. Fortunately for you, American Service Pets’ network of active board certified doctors can help you find the right path to certification. To find out whether you need an ESA or PSD letter, take our easy, three-step Pet Owner Survey!


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