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A Complete Guide to Getting an Emotional Support Letter For Renters

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Finding a rental that accommodates pets can often feel like a daunting task. Landlords frequently have reservations about allowing pets, fearing property damage or complaints from neighbors. However, emotional support animals (ESAs) play a crucial role in the lives of those they assist, making it vital for renters to understand how to navigate the process of obtaining an emotional support letter. This comprehensive guide aims to demystify the process, ensuring your furry friend can remain by your side.

The Importance of the Emotional Support Letter

For individuals relying on emotional support animals, these companions are more than just pets; they are essential for managing mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. 

An emotional support letter is a document provided by a licensed mental health professional that verifies your need for an ESA. It serves as a bridge, allowing your emotional support animal to live with you in most rental units, thanks to protections under the Fair Housing Amendment Act.

An emotional support letter becomes necessary when searching for a new place to live. It is proof required by landlords to differentiate your ESA from other pets, ensuring they can accompany you with minimal fuss.

Qualifying for an Emotional Support Letter

To qualify for a legitimate emotional support letter, an individual must be evaluated by a mental health professional who recognizes the therapeutic benefits of their pet. ESAs are known to significantly reduce symptoms of mental health issues, providing comfort and stability. The evaluation process involves confirming that your condition benefits from the presence of your emotional support animal.

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.

Applying for Your ESA Letter Online

In today’s digital age, obtaining an emotional support letter online has become a convenient option. It’s crucial, however, to ensure that the service you use employs licensed mental health professionals compliant with state laws. Adhering to the legal criteria for an ESA letter is essential for its validity and acceptance.

Recognizing the importance of compliance and accessibility, American Service Pets proudly offers a network of licensed healthcare professionals across 99% of states, ready to evaluate your specific needs through a comprehensive questionnaire. This approach ensures that the process is both legitimate and tailored to your situation, with 95% of applicants on our website qualifying for their ESA letter. If you’re considering the benefits an emotional support animal can bring to your life, we invite you to get started with us today.

By filling out our simple questionnaire, you’re taking the first step towards securing the necessary documentation to keep your emotional support animal by your side, where they belong.

Your Emotional Support Animal’s Responsibilities

It’s important as an owner of an ESA to remember that you are accountable for your animal’s behavior. An emotional support letter does not excuse aggressive or disruptive behavior. Training your pet to behave appropriately in shared spaces and ensuring they are toilet trained are responsibilities that come with the privileges afforded by an emotional support letter.

To further support your journey in ensuring your pet’s exemplary behavior, consider exploring I Train Academy, offered by us at American Service Pets. This comprehensive online program focuses on both behavioral and task training, designed to elevate emotional support animals to fully recognized Psychiatric Service Animals (PSAs). 

However, it doesn’t stop there; even if you don’t require a PSA, the behavioral training provided by I Train Academy equips your pet with the necessary skills to thrive both at home and in public settings. It’s an invaluable resource for pet owners seeking to instill confidence, discipline, and social etiquette in their animals, ensuring they’re well-prepared for any situation.

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.

Conclusion: Navigating the Path Together

An emotional support letter is more than just a document; it’s a lifeline for those who rely on their ESAs for mental and emotional stability. By understanding the importance, timing, and qualifications for obtaining such a letter, as well as the responsibilities it entails, renters can ensure their emotional support animals remain by their sides. 

If you’re facing the challenge of finding pet-friendly housing with your ESA, an emotional support letter is your key to a more inclusive environment. Remember, the goal is not only to secure a space for your ESA but also to foster understanding and acceptance in the community, ensuring a harmonious coexistence for all.

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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