Emotional Support Animal Laws
Familiarizing yourself with the emotional support animal laws are necessary if you own one and you should know the rights that you and your pet are entitled to. While you should be ok most of the time, there are always people who are going to take advantage of the misinformed. This is why you should know how you and your ESA should be treated under the Americans with Disabilities Act so that you can recognize if you are being discriminated against. There are very strict regulations in place to prevent the owners being treated unfairly, so read on and make sure you know your rights before something happens.
The Fair Housing Act
The Fair Housing Act was amended in 1998 and prohibits landlords from discriminating against people with emotional support animals in certain circumstances. You cannot be denied a rental property because you have an ESA if you have a disability and can provide appropriate documentation for your animal. There are to be no extra fees charged because of your pet, and your animal has just as much right to live in the property as you do.
There are some exceptions to this act, and it extends to buildings which have four or less units, and the landlord lives in one of them, private owners who don’t own more than three single-family homes, and those who don’t use brokers or real estate agents. These animals do not require specialized housing and can move into any rental property providing they aren’t limited by the aforementioned exceptions. Specific breeds are not prohibited, and ESA’s can’t be rejected because of their breed. They can, however, be rejected based on their behaviour is they are deemed too dangerous to be around people.
The Air Carrier Act
This act was passed in 1990 and was created to work with the Department of Transportation guidelines regarding the discrimination of disabled people who are traveling by air. Under this Act, airlines are strictly prohibited from refusing, limiting, or requiring advanced notice from disabled people. Advanced notice would only be recommended if an individual would require certain medical equipment to be on board with them and in some cases if an ESA is going to be traveling with them.
Providing someone with this type of animal has the required documentation, this act stipulates that the person with the ESA must be accommodated. The owners are also not required to sit in a certain part of the airplane unless their animal is so big that it obstructs the aisle. An airline must not charge extra fees for accommodating someone who has an ESA, and the animal gets to travel free of charge.
Your Rights as an ESA Owner
You and your pet are protected by the circumstances and stipulations of the above acts. Airlines are pretty good and know all about these animals, and they have to regularly cater for people with all sorts of requirements on their planes. Landlords are the ones who are more likely to try and get away with something, or they may not even know about emotional support animal laws, but you do. Now that you are more informed, you can use this information to your advantage if you are ever in a situation that calls for it.