Emotional support animals
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Emotional support animals (by Raj [WV]) Sep 15, 2022 6:20 PM
       Emotional support animals (by Robert J [CA]) Sep 15, 2022 6:42 PM
       Emotional support animals (by Renne [TX]) Sep 15, 2022 6:53 PM
       Emotional support animals (by Raj [WV]) Sep 15, 2022 7:15 PM
       Emotional support animals (by Jason [VA]) Sep 15, 2022 7:31 PM
       Emotional support animals (by DJ [VA]) Sep 15, 2022 8:03 PM
       Emotional support animals (by DJ [VA]) Sep 15, 2022 8:06 PM
       Emotional support animals (by Raj [WV]) Sep 15, 2022 8:22 PM
       Emotional support animals (by dino [CA]) Sep 15, 2022 8:46 PM
       Emotional support animals (by dino [CA]) Sep 15, 2022 8:57 PM
       Emotional support animals (by Raj [WV]) Sep 15, 2022 9:20 PM
       Emotional support animals (by Hoosier [IN]) Sep 15, 2022 9:52 PM
       Emotional support animals (by Renne [TX]) Sep 16, 2022 9:50 AM
       Emotional support animals (by Raj [WV]) Sep 16, 2022 10:50 AM
       Emotional support animals (by Scott [IN]) Sep 16, 2022 11:36 AM
       Emotional support animals (by Pmh [TX]) Sep 17, 2022 2:18 PM
       Emotional support animals (by Wilma [PA]) Sep 17, 2022 3:38 PM
       Emotional support animals (by Salernitana [CA]) Sep 17, 2022 4:18 PM
       Emotional support animals (by Wilma [PA]) Sep 18, 2022 3:11 PM
       Emotional support animals (by Robin [WI]) Sep 18, 2022 9:31 PM
       Emotional support animals (by Chicago LL [IL]) Sep 25, 2022 8:01 AM
       Emotional support animals (by Chicago LL [IL]) Sep 25, 2022 8:29 AM
       Emotional support animals (by zero [IN]) Sep 25, 2022 4:10 PM

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Emotional support animals (by Raj [WV]) Posted on: Sep 15, 2022 6:20 PM
Message:

We've been contacted multiple times about our rental by people saying they have an Emotional Support Animal.

Americans w / disabilities act says that landlords have to accept people with ESAs & no pet deposit or increase in rent. It can be an type or # of animals.

They can file a discrimination suit against you even if you don't allow pets to any other tenants or just a dog of certain size or a cat with a pet fee.

All they need is a certificate from a Dr. or Social worker, or peers & now all you need is to go to Google & find dozens if listings offering to sell ESA certificates for very low prices

So something done with good intent, to help someone with emotional problems, is now being abused by anyone woth a pet. All pets are ESAs !

How does one deal with this ? --74.33.xx.xx




Emotional support animals (by Robert J [CA]) Posted on: Sep 15, 2022 6:42 PM
Message:

I had an applicant who said they had an ESA cat. I asked them to bring it along for the interview. The cat was uncontrollable. It hissed at the owner and would not allow it to be picked up. This was better than any comedy on TV. So I told my applicant that his was a "wild beast", untamed, uncontrollably, not socialized and should have been thru obedience training. Rejected.

Two weeks ago a elderly lady came to look at an apartment. She had a dog with her. The applicant babysits her grand daughter and the family dog. This dog hates men and strangers. I told the old women she is welcome to apply but the dog would be excluded from the property because "it does not wag it's tail nor smile. It only barks and shows it's teeth for aggression".

Let housing or a judge try to nail me on this one.

--47.156.xx.xx




Emotional support animals (by Renne [TX]) Posted on: Sep 15, 2022 6:53 PM
Message:

Raj, welcome to this wonderful mind stretching forum.

For our business, we have found the single best way we handle the rise of fake ESA’s and service animals is by sticking to our written screening criteria and procedures for each and every applicant without exception.

Our approval procedure includes a 2 minute in home visit of the applicant’s current home while the animals are there.

Recently we had an applicant who listed an ESA and a service dog on the application. During the in- home visit, I took notes about the condition of the front and back yards. Were there piles waiting to be scooped or was the yard clean? Were there holes from digging or was the yard well cared for? Did the animals growl, bark and scratch at the window and door when they saw me arrive? When I met the animals, did they jump on me or act aggressively? Was there evidence of damage around the door frame from their scratching? Was there evidence of accidents on the carpet? Was there a urine smell? Our process is very objective. I am not required to take animals or Residents who have damaged a previous home or yard.

When we have accepted ESA or service animals this is what is written in our lease. (Sor far we have only accepted dogs.) XXX is a service dog and YYY is an emotional support dog, so pet rent, an increased security deposit, an increased pre-paid exit cleaning fee and the requirement for a liability policy do not apply to them. We will still expect that XXX and YYY will follow the same standards of polite canine behavior other animals follow while out in public on the property such as were referenced in the section on pets on pages 9 and 10 of this lease.

(A master landlord recently added some comments which we are incorporating onto our standard procedures. He mentioned that if the animals are crated during a home visit, you have lost the opportunity to see if the animals will jump on you or if the owner has control of the animals. Great observations!)

For out of town applicants, we hire a Realtor near the applicant’s current home to do the inspection for us. When we've hired a Realtor, I've called the local Chamber of Commerce and asked for the largest local real estate office. I explain what I'm doing and ask if they have time to get it done today. Each time we’ve paid $75.00. The first time I didn't give very clear guidelines and the process was a little awkward. Now I say I want four pictures- front yard (wide view), back yard (wide view), kitchen and living room. If there are pets I want a picture of each pet. I ask the agent if there were any unpleasant smells (or pet or cigarette smells) or if they saw any bugs.

Our standard written policy is that we inspect our homes semi-annually and should there happen to be damage from any source, we would pay to have the damage fixed and would bill the Resident. Should the Resident not pay for the damages within the allotted time frame, we would begin the process to remove them from the home.

To your success!

--12.196.xxx.xxx




Emotional support animals (by Raj [WV]) Posted on: Sep 15, 2022 7:15 PM
Message:

That's phenomenal ! I will have to keep that in mind when the next applicant brings up an ESA.

Do tou do that for all your pet requests or just the ESAs ? We allow a cat with $200 .

The ESA issue just started 3-4 months ago. --74.33.xx.xx




Emotional support animals (by Jason [VA]) Posted on: Sep 15, 2022 7:31 PM
Message:

I make them "provide reliable documentation of the disability and the disability-related need for an assistance animal,

including documentation from any person with whom the person with a disability has or has had a therapeutic relationship."

Straight out of my state's law.

Those online certificates get ignored. --172.58.xxx.xxx




Emotional support animals (by DJ [VA]) Posted on: Sep 15, 2022 8:03 PM
Message:

My response: "No problem. If you submit an application, there is also an animal application where you will attach the appropriate documentation as required by VA law.

You do need to understand that, although there will be no additional rent or fees, every animal needs to be properly behaved and cared for. By the way, we make a brief in-home visit as a normal part of our screening process for everyone."

--68.229.xxx.xxx




Emotional support animals (by DJ [VA]) Posted on: Sep 15, 2022 8:06 PM
Message:

BTW:

I have made my last vacancy an "animal inclusive property".

This means the rent and security are higher up front, and it includes (in my case up to two) animals.

Makes it a non-issue. --68.229.xxx.xxx




Emotional support animals (by Raj [WV]) Posted on: Sep 15, 2022 8:22 PM
Message:

Can you give them a rebate for not having any pets ? --74.33.xx.xx




Emotional support animals (by dino [CA]) Posted on: Sep 15, 2022 8:46 PM
Message:

Raj,

I don't know the answer to rebate question but I would be interested in hearing the response to rebate issue from landlord attorney.

The real legal question is will tenants with ESA claim that their not receiving the rebate constitutes an illegal pet fee.

--104.175.xx.xx




Emotional support animals (by dino [CA]) Posted on: Sep 15, 2022 8:57 PM
Message:

Raj,

By the way, as others have posted, I also believe the best way to address ESA issue is applying usual screening including 2 minute in home visit for applicants. I believe you have the right to check out the animal to see if it appears likely that the animal would damage property, create nuisance, scare you, your workers, or other tenants.

ESA laws are not a free pass to bring a hazardous animal on to your property.

--104.175.xx.xx




Emotional support animals (by Raj [WV]) Posted on: Sep 15, 2022 9:20 PM
Message:

I think you're right. I also like the idea of the home visit.

Hopefully that will get them to back off.

I also wonder if they do force their way in, if we'd have to inform other tenants that they have an ESA & let us know if there are issues

Has anyone actually have a tenant with an ESA, & how did it work out ? --74.33.xx.xx




Emotional support animals (by Hoosier [IN]) Posted on: Sep 15, 2022 9:52 PM
Message:

As far as a rebate, I think you could do it without even mentioning animals. Just say something like…”after 12 months, we will do a full inspection of the house. The inspection will look for a,b,c,d…and if there are no issues with those items, a $200 rent discount will be applied to the next month’s rent”

A,b,c,d would be up to you, but don’t mention animals….instead just say “damaged interior components like wood trim, doors, drywall” or “foul odors from any cause”…..these would cover pee smells, cigarettes, dogs scratching woodwork, cats tearing up curtains, etc…even though you don’t mention any animal. --99.92.xxx.xxx




Emotional support animals (by Renne [TX]) Posted on: Sep 16, 2022 9:50 AM
Message:

"Do you do that for all your pet requests or just the ESAs?"

For us, our policy of a home visit is applied to all applicants (animals or not) without exception.

"Has anyone actually have a tenant with an ESA, & how did it work out ?"

We approved the applicant I wrote about above and she and her two animals have been delightful. --12.196.xxx.xxx




Emotional support animals (by Raj [WV]) Posted on: Sep 16, 2022 10:50 AM
Message:

That is good to hear. It is worrisome when people approach you agressively about ESAs & makes us very defensive & resistant.

I will follow the advice & ask for local documentation of their emotional need & require a home visit to see the animal prior to approval.

Thank you all so much. --74.33.xx.xx




Emotional support animals (by Scott [IN]) Posted on: Sep 16, 2022 11:36 AM
Message:

Check your state laws. Some states, like Indiana, have passed a law that helps landlords reject fake ESAs --107.141.xx.xxx




Emotional support animals (by Pmh [TX]) Posted on: Sep 17, 2022 2:18 PM
Message:

news to me ADA requires you to accept ESA. best you just post no animals allowed then. or require $5,000 deposit (?) --166.196.xx.xx




Emotional support animals (by Wilma [PA]) Posted on: Sep 17, 2022 3:38 PM
Message:

Yesterday was a first - I saw a dog with an ESA vest in a pulmonologist's office while accompanying my MIL. Little thing, probably non-shedding type. BUT - it whined and barked a little and sniffed at everyone until the owner picked it up. I think that the office workers were afraid to tell the guy who owned it to get it out of there.

The ironic thing is that they advertised that the office is a fragrance-free office due to people with lung issues. Should be yappy little dog-free too! --98.115.xxx.xxx




Emotional support animals (by Salernitana [CA]) Posted on: Sep 17, 2022 4:18 PM
Message:

@Raj, thank you for your post. You can do a search in this awesome forum's search box for "esa". The posts will help you feel more confident with tools and support, no pun intended. Find the wise advice that works for your situation.

As Aldo once noted, the landlord is in charge. Jeffrey who runs this forum and others have noted that compliance is highly important. If your prospective tenants are being aggressive, they just disqualified themselves from your rental pool.

Best of luck and please post what happens.

--67.188.xx.xxx




Emotional support animals (by Wilma [PA]) Posted on: Sep 18, 2022 3:11 PM
Message:

Forgot to mention - when the owner put the dog down when he stepped onto the scale, the dog took off down the hall. Sheesh. --98.115.xxx.xxx




Emotional support animals (by Robin [WI]) Posted on: Sep 18, 2022 9:31 PM
Message:

Fortunately, Ohio allows us to require a letter from a healthcare practitioner that a) is licensed to practice in Ohio, and b) has seen them for purposes other than just to prescribe an ESA. That's enough to deter the fakers. I did have one person who revealed that she had an ESA after she'd been approved. I now ask for information about "any animals" on my application. Her dog was fine and non-destructive. --104.230.xxx.xxx




Emotional support animals (by Chicago LL [IL]) Posted on: Sep 25, 2022 8:01 AM
Message:

Totally agree with Salernitana[CA] when she said " If your prospective tenants are being aggressive, they just disqualified themselves from your rental pool". --198.245.xxx.xx




Emotional support animals (by Chicago LL [IL]) Posted on: Sep 25, 2022 8:29 AM
Message:

Raj, I just received an application with an ESA this weekend. What a coincident. I ran the background check and found out that the applicant has eviction records and got judgement against her for owing money. There, I could deny her based on the eviction record.

My point is that you could find other flaws in your applicant's background/credit and deny them based on that. No need to mess with unfair ESA law. The home visit is also another chance to deny them. Good luck and keep us update on how it goes. --198.245.xxx.xx




Emotional support animals (by zero [IN]) Posted on: Sep 25, 2022 4:10 PM
Message:

Have one tenant with two yip dogs. She pays pet rent for them. She works in an odd industry where she helps people with emotional issues or some such. Asked me if I had any places open for a client of hers. Said the client was getting kicked out for smuggling a cat in. My tenant was working on getting her cat listed as an ESA.

I passed on a little info about what was required and the fines for misrepresenting the animal as ESA. I also told her that I would not rent to the woman because of the way she is going about it.

Worries me how all these deadbeats can't make rent payments but can afford to take in stray animals. To date I have had nobody actually come to me with ESA papers. I feel very fortunate for that. --107.147.xx.xxx



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