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ESA (by Giovanna [CA]) Nov 30, 2022 1:50 PM
       ESA (by Robert J [CA]) Nov 30, 2022 2:17 PM
       ESA (by Robin [WI]) Nov 30, 2022 4:30 PM
       ESA (by John... [MI]) Nov 30, 2022 4:32 PM
       ESA (by Vee [OH]) Nov 30, 2022 7:02 PM
       ESA (by Ray-N-Pa [PA]) Nov 30, 2022 7:06 PM
       ESA (by Allym [NJ]) Nov 30, 2022 8:48 PM
       ESA (by Robert J [CA]) Dec 1, 2022 3:07 AM
       ESA (by John... [MI]) Dec 1, 2022 8:51 AM
       ESA (by John... [MI]) Dec 1, 2022 8:57 AM
       ESA (by S i d [MO]) Dec 1, 2022 10:05 AM
       ESA (by Oregon Woodsmoke [ID]) Dec 1, 2022 10:30 AM
       ESA (by John... [MI]) Dec 1, 2022 3:33 PM
       ESA (by John... [MI]) Dec 1, 2022 3:34 PM
       ESA (by Wilma [PA]) Dec 1, 2022 3:40 PM
       ESA (by Vee [OH]) Dec 1, 2022 6:27 PM
       ESA (by John... [MI]) Dec 1, 2022 6:57 PM

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ESA (by Giovanna [CA]) Posted on: Nov 30, 2022 1:50 PM


Long story short, there was a tenant who has an obvious disability who submitted an ESA request for his daughter. I granted it without hesitation because to be honest I felt bad for the guy and he is a nice guy. That was a bit over a year ago.

Now, I just received another ESA request from another tenant who states that their teen daughter has an ESA letter. The letter is obviously from a CA licensed therapist. I have not responded as of yet.

What should I do? I don't want the rest of the tenants to think that I am easy at accepting an ESA request. Yet, based on the information I have gathered, there is not much I can do. FYI, the tenant has been residing in the unit for about 12 years, have always paid rent on time. My concern is the rest of the tenants doing the same.

Just want to get opinions on how to handle this ESA request. This is the hard part of owning a rental in good ol' CA. --67.161.xx.xx

ESA (by Robert J [CA]) Posted on: Nov 30, 2022 2:17 PM

The doctor who wrote the note has to be the kids doctor at least 30 days before they got the letter and presented it to you. Also it has to the the Childs personal doctor, not a letter writing fraudster. --47.156.xx.xx

ESA (by Robin [WI]) Posted on: Nov 30, 2022 4:30 PM

Also, in my state they have to have seen the patient for something other than the specific purpose of getting an ESA support letter.

ESA (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Nov 30, 2022 4:32 PM

Robert J: Is that CA-specific law? Or do you think the federal law supports what you just stated?

Just curious. I am not familiar with CA law on this.

ESA (by Vee [OH]) Posted on: Nov 30, 2022 7:02 PM

Many of the posters on this board use -petscreening dot com- to verify the animal in question, please note there will always be an exiting flea treatment cost, city/county immunization records verified (I suggest obtaining photo vet records), damages by the animal are added to the next rent cycle (no payment plan) and exhaust must be handled responsibly for the duration of the animal stay.

ESA (by Ray-N-Pa [PA]) Posted on: Nov 30, 2022 7:06 PM

Do you understand that the ADA (service animal) and an ESA are two separate items?

Just my own opinion - aren't all pets ESAs? Or are there honestly folks out there who enjoy picking up dog poo? When a dog is wagging there tail when they see you, you typically smile back.

ESA (by Allym [NJ]) Posted on: Nov 30, 2022 8:48 PM

I have a tenant who said her tiny dog was an ESA. She didn't have to lie or whatever as I take small pets and people stay a loooong time. This one is a grad student and she asked for a two year lease. She has a full scholarship including housing so I am very happy with her and little Mollie.

ESA (by Robert J [CA]) Posted on: Dec 1, 2022 3:07 AM

This is only California thing, that in the last 2 years got finally passed. I had been to meetings with the City, County and State and they know about tenants pulling fast ones on landlords. But when a Blind man went into Ralph's market with his Licensed Service Dog wearing the right vest, ANOTHER shopper came inside with his dog say it was his "emotional support dog". Not on a lease. That was a pit bull mix that attacked the blind mans service dog. The blind man tired to help his dog but he was also attacked. Then the owner of the pit bull got his dog and tried to leave, not offering any medial help to the injured blind man or his dog.

The next day all Ralph's in this State no longer allowed any dog into their markets, unless it was with a known customer and known service animal. The Service dog needed tons of operations, not sure if he survived or not.

Because of this event, State lawmakers realized people make animal decisions based on "human" ideas not realizing dogs are dogs and think differently. So that dog/animal laws changed.


ESA (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Dec 1, 2022 8:51 AM

But ESA have never had any rights in something like a Ralph's market. No law needed to be changed to stop ESAs from entering a store...

But, ok. I guess I'll have to look up CA law on ESAs sometime. Thanks.

ESA (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Dec 1, 2022 8:57 AM

Found it. AB-468.

Ok, now I see. It looks like they had problems with people trying to pass off ESAs as Service Animals. THEN that would make more sense in a public market situation -- where ESAs do not need to be allowed, but SAs do.

So, there is a 30 day requirement now, like you said. Note that it does NOT have to be their "doctor" like you said. It can still be most things that the federal law allows: doctor, therapist, counselor, psychiatrist, psychologies, or even a social worker. I think that is important to point out -- that it does not have to be a doctor. We don't want anyone denying valid certificates because Robert J said that it had to be their "child's personal doctor." :)

I do like the 30 day thing though. Although, I still think that will be easy to get around. People will meet once with someone and then go back after 30 days and get their certificate. So, it's something, but not much. :)

ESA (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Dec 1, 2022 10:05 AM

Let's get back to the OP's original question vs. debating the laws of California, which are subject to Federal Laws anyway.

You are required, by federal law, to allow ESAs as a "reasonable accommodation" under the FHA (Fair Housing Act). They are considered to be an assistance device, in the same way as a wheelchair would be for someone who cannot walk.

If the tenant has a letter from a licensed provider on John's list above, that's all you can require in the way of documentation. You cannot charge fees, deposits, or in any other way restrict the animal, the same way as if the animal were a wheelchair. What you CAN do is monitor the premises and make sure the animal is not doing any damages or causing problems for other tenants.

Bottom line: this isn't about you being seen as an easy at accepting ESA requests from other tenants; it's about whether or not the tenant has the correct documentation. If they do, then every if every other tenant in your buildings gets that documentation, you have to allow them to have their ESAs, period, end of story. Yes, I know, it doesn't sound fair, and yes, I know ESAs get abused. Such is life. Deal with it like a pro. The way to do that is the following:

The ESA owners are still responsible for any damages, disturbance of other tenants and guests, or for failure to clean up properly after their animal, and failure to accomplish this may give you the right to evict. So if Sally gets an ESA and she let's it poop all over the place without cleaning it up or if it lunges at other tenants, then Sally either must get rid of her dog or be evicted.


ESA (by Oregon Woodsmoke [ID]) Posted on: Dec 1, 2022 10:30 AM

[[[[[[...... Just my own opinion - aren't all pets ESAs?.....]]]]]

Yes, all pets give emotional support to their owner. However, to be protected as an ESA under the law, the owner must have a diagnosed mental condition or mental disability and the ESA must alleviate some of their symptoms and help to enable them to live a more normal life. A legally protected ESA isn't for someone who is happy to have a waggy dog great them when they get home, its for someone who needs the ESA to serve as medical equipment, albeit, untrained medical equipment. (a service dog is specially trained medical equipment)

ESA (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Dec 1, 2022 3:33 PM

Sid: OP is in CA, so the discussion was actually very related to their original question. Robert suggested making sure that they had the 30 day relationship to confirm that the ESA was valid. So we discussed that and it does appear to be accurate. (Just not what he said about it having to be a "doctor".) So, it was certainly on-topic to OP's original question.

But, yes, like you said, if it is valid, then they need to accept them and not worry so much about what other tenants might think. If one asked, they should simply state that they met the federal and state guidelines for an exception to the no-pets policy. Done.

ESA (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Dec 1, 2022 3:34 PM

And I'm with Oregon Woodsmoke on that last comment. I'm getting pretty tired of the lame "don't we ALL get Emotional Support from our pets?" line.

We, as landlords, worry about the law and how to follow it. Can we stop with the "ESAs suck!" stuff? Yes, we know people cheat them. That doesn't change the law that we have to follow. Dislike it or not.

ESA (by Wilma [PA]) Posted on: Dec 1, 2022 3:40 PM

One of my kids worked at a speciality nut and fudge shop for a while. Two ladies came in, one leading a little dog with one of those ESA vests you can purchase online. The store owner ordered the dog Mama to take Foo-Foo out, which was sniffing all of the display merchandise AND customers and employees, and ignoring its owner.

Dog Mama protested that it was illegal to deny her "ESA" entry. The store owner countered that the Health Department could shut her down for having an animal on the premises, and that she was aware that the dog's unmannered behavior disqualified it for the service dog exemption.

"You'll hear from my lawyer!" She never did.

ESA (by Vee [OH]) Posted on: Dec 1, 2022 6:27 PM

I get emotional support from reading here. How do I get the doctor order?

ESA (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Dec 1, 2022 6:57 PM

Wilma: The real problem there is that it has nothing to do with the health department nor "unmannered behavior". It could be the best behaved ESA at a Basket selling company. ESAs still have no protection and absolutely can be denied entry to places like that. ESAs only matter for us landlords and airlines. Anyone else can deny them simply because they want to deny them -- without the need for anything additional (like health/food regulations).

I wish more companies recognized that. They need to stop letting pets and ESAs into Home Depot. They shouldn't encourage this behavior at those places, IMO.

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