Tenant ESA
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Tenant ESA (by Annie [IN]) Mar 24, 2024 2:58 PM
       Tenant ESA (by Annie [IN]) Mar 24, 2024 3:01 PM
       Tenant ESA (by MC [PA]) Mar 24, 2024 3:35 PM
       Tenant ESA (by plenty [MO]) Mar 24, 2024 4:27 PM
       Tenant ESA (by RB [TN]) Mar 24, 2024 4:31 PM
       Tenant ESA (by John... [MI]) Mar 24, 2024 4:42 PM
       Tenant ESA (by zero [IN]) Mar 24, 2024 5:09 PM
       Tenant ESA (by NE [PA]) Mar 24, 2024 5:14 PM
       Tenant ESA (by plenty [MO]) Mar 24, 2024 6:32 PM
       Tenant ESA (by Jim [CA]) Mar 24, 2024 6:38 PM
       Tenant ESA (by 6x6 [TN]) Mar 24, 2024 7:00 PM
       Tenant ESA (by Jason [VA]) Mar 24, 2024 7:50 PM
       Tenant ESA (by 6x6 [TN]) Mar 24, 2024 8:43 PM
       Tenant ESA (by 6x6 [TN]) Mar 24, 2024 8:45 PM
       Tenant ESA (by 6x6 [TN]) Mar 24, 2024 8:52 PM
       Tenant ESA (by Annie [IN]) Mar 24, 2024 8:53 PM
       Tenant ESA (by 6x6 [TN]) Mar 24, 2024 9:02 PM
       Tenant ESA (by Robin [WI]) Mar 24, 2024 9:48 PM
       Tenant ESA (by Tim [CA]) Mar 24, 2024 10:24 PM
       Tenant ESA (by MC [PA]) Mar 25, 2024 5:33 AM
       Tenant ESA (by DJ [VA]) Mar 25, 2024 8:13 AM
       Tenant ESA (by Renne [TX]) Mar 25, 2024 8:57 AM
       Tenant ESA (by MikeA [TX]) Mar 25, 2024 12:33 PM
       Tenant ESA (by LisaFL [FL]) Mar 25, 2024 1:05 PM
       Tenant ESA (by John... [MI]) Mar 25, 2024 1:26 PM
       Tenant ESA (by Annie [IN]) Mar 25, 2024 1:51 PM
       Tenant ESA (by Scott [IN]) Mar 25, 2024 2:01 PM
       Tenant ESA (by Scott [IN]) Mar 25, 2024 2:09 PM
       Tenant ESA (by LisaFL [FL]) Mar 25, 2024 6:30 PM
       Tenant ESA (by Just Tim [AR]) Mar 25, 2024 8:06 PM
       Tenant ESA (by Ray-N-Pa [PA]) Mar 26, 2024 6:12 AM
       Tenant ESA (by John... [MI]) Mar 26, 2024 12:05 PM
       Tenant ESA (by John... [MI]) Mar 26, 2024 12:09 PM
       Tenant ESA (by John... [MI]) Mar 26, 2024 12:13 PM
       Tenant ESA (by Peacegarden [ND]) Mar 26, 2024 1:00 PM
       Tenant ESA (by NE [PA]) Mar 26, 2024 1:16 PM
       Tenant ESA (by NE [PA]) Mar 26, 2024 1:18 PM
       Tenant ESA (by LisaFL [FL]) Mar 26, 2024 6:30 PM
       Tenant ESA (by John... [MI]) Mar 26, 2024 8:35 PM
       Tenant ESA (by John... [MI]) Mar 26, 2024 8:36 PM
       Tenant ESA (by NE [PA]) Mar 26, 2024 9:12 PM
       Tenant ESA (by GLR [MA]) Mar 27, 2024 12:27 PM
       Tenant ESA (by Ilsa. [AZ]) Mar 27, 2024 6:11 PM
       Tenant ESA (by John... [MI]) Apr 2, 2024 8:37 AM

Tenant ESA (by Annie [IN]) Posted on: Mar 24, 2024 2:58 PM

State Specific Question About: INDIANA (IN)

I know Brad has it in his rental application about it is a punishable crime in Indiana for an applicant to claim an ESA. What about a current tenant that is now claiming an ESA?

Upon lease renewal, a tenant is now claiming an ESA (caught her with it a few weeks ago). She provided a letter, but we are suspect because the phone number from the health care "professional" is in another state. There is no address for this health care "professional", just a "License Number" purported to be issued by Indiana. Tried "googling" the name of the person who signed the letter, but could not find them. AND, the letter from the health "professional" is date 3 days after we informed the tenant she had to provide documentation.

I am trying to remember from previous discussions on this board that the health care professional must be local?

How should we proceed, since we suspect the letter from the "professional" is something she paid for on the net?


Tenant ESA (by Annie [IN]) Posted on: Mar 24, 2024 3:01 PM

Sorry for the multiple posts -- my computer kept giving me error messages that it did not go through. --209.132.xxx.xx

Tenant ESA (by MC [PA]) Posted on: Mar 24, 2024 3:35 PM

Pass it on to a DA and say possible fraud? Did you Ggogle the license number? Pure BS to have to even go through verifying, or not, it. I would even call thier bluff and tell them the DA is investigating as it is now common to verify and to provide a phone number for the doc. --73.230.xxx.xx

Tenant ESA (by plenty [MO]) Posted on: Mar 24, 2024 4:27 PM

Just take the notification and keep your tenant, that is if she is already a good one. The doggie damage mostly has already been done. Or retract your offer to renew, that many not look so good on your end. Sometimes it's just that way in this business. Exit first available time, keep a closer look-see on the conditions of the property, if you do that right she'll need that Esa more than ever! --172.59.xxx.xx

Tenant ESA (by RB [TN]) Posted on: Mar 24, 2024 4:31 PM

Next ! --69.130.xxx.xxx

Tenant ESA (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Mar 24, 2024 4:42 PM

To clarify, Brad has it in his stuff that faking a SERVICE ANIMAL is a crime. ESAs are different and are not covered by the law that Brad mentions. He just hopes that people ASSUME they are under the same law (when they are not).

As for your situation, there is no legal requirement that the healthcare provider be "local" or even within your state -- unless that is an Indiana-specific law that I am not aware of.

I don't think you can deny just based on what you've described here. If it were me, I would likely respond to them that you have been unable to verify the documentation and that you need contact information for the healthcare provider's office (i.e. a phone number and address). See how they respond.


Tenant ESA (by zero [IN]) Posted on: Mar 24, 2024 5:09 PM

I feel that we need better ESA laws to help the LL's.

This is getting up there with the squatter's rights crap that is going on.

Dated three days after you caught them with the animal? They are telling stories to avoid doing what was in the lease. Hate to admit it but I would be watching them closely for any other violations and evict immediately upon finding them.


Tenant ESA (by NE [PA]) Posted on: Mar 24, 2024 5:14 PM

I disagree Zeroí. I think we need to get rid of ESAís altogether. Life is tough once in a while, suck it up. --24.152.xxx.xx

Tenant ESA (by plenty [MO]) Posted on: Mar 24, 2024 6:32 PM

Agree with NE. Everyone is special, everyone got a trophy. Everyone can pay --172.59.xxx.xx

Tenant ESA (by Jim [CA]) Posted on: Mar 24, 2024 6:38 PM

Research the validity of the medical professional signing the document, their license and their place of business. If you were able to rent it before verifying everything they lose you win --146.70.xxx.xxx

Tenant ESA (by 6x6 [TN]) Posted on: Mar 24, 2024 7:00 PM

Can I pet it?

If you caught them with it a few weeks ago, why are you wanting to renew their lease?


Tenant ESA (by Jason [VA]) Posted on: Mar 24, 2024 7:50 PM

Search for that provider on this forum. I caught a bogus esa letter that way, it ended up coming from some nonsense provider like certapet (but sounded legit) --172.56.xxx.xx

Tenant ESA (by 6x6 [TN]) Posted on: Mar 24, 2024 8:43 PM

I am going to start my own ESA registration website. I think I will call it "Can I Pet It?" --76.129.xxx.xx

Tenant ESA (by 6x6 [TN]) Posted on: Mar 24, 2024 8:45 PM

My slogan: If it can be petted it can be an ESA.

BRING ON THE DONKEYS! --76.129.xxx.xx

Tenant ESA (by 6x6 [TN]) Posted on: Mar 24, 2024 8:52 PM

From Wikipedia:

"The donkey is a domesticated equine. It derives from the African wild ass, Equus africanus, and may be classified either as a subspecies thereof, Equus africanus asinus, or as a separate species, Equus asinus.[1]: 1 It was domesticated in Africa some 5000Ė7000 years ago,[1]: 2 [2]: 3715 [3] and has been used mainly as a working animal since that time.

There are more than 40 million donkeys in the world, mostly in underdeveloped countries, where they are used principally as draught or pack animals. While working donkeys are often associated with those living at or below subsistence, small numbers of donkeys or asses are kept for breeding or as pets in developed countries." --76.129.xxx.xx

Tenant ESA (by Annie [IN]) Posted on: Mar 24, 2024 8:53 PM

To clarify -- we found out about the ESA after we had sent them a renewal notice. When we told them extra deposit and fees are associated with an animal, that's when they pulled the ESA card.

I am still digging on the so-called "professional".


Tenant ESA (by 6x6 [TN]) Posted on: Mar 24, 2024 9:02 PM

Thank you, Annie.

Funny how that works. Mention the extra charges and suddenly it is special. "But, Mr. or Mrs. LL, this is a special animal! It has fur, four legs, is cute, and I can pet it, because it is an ESA."

Mr or Mrs. LL: "Oh okay tenant. I have an ESA as well. It is steal, shiny, cold, holds 15 rounds, and gets hot when it spits at you" --76.129.xxx.xx

Tenant ESA (by Robin [WI]) Posted on: Mar 24, 2024 9:48 PM

If they are an otherwise good tenant and you want to keep them, I think I'd write them a letter stating something along these lines:

"Thank you for notifying me that Fifi is an emotional support animal. Please be aware that we do verify all documentation provided. Requirements for ESA providers may include that they are licensed in the state in which they practice and that they are seeing you for a purpose other than just prescribing an emotional support animal. So far, we have not been able to verify that your provider is licensed in Indiana. Fraudulent misrepresentation of a service animal is punishable by up to a $5000 fine or jail time, or both.

If you are concerned that the documentation provided may not be adequate and would like Fifi to go on record as a pet, please remit the appropriate fees and we will adjust our records accordingly. Thank you."

Note that you're not stating that they aren't licensed in Indiana, just that you haven't been able to verify it. Call their bluff.

Btw, here is some key information from AI: Medical professionals must have a license in every state they practice in, with some exceptions. Each state has its own licensing board, and doctors must apply for a license in each state they practice in. This includes states where they provide healthcare services through telehealth. The exception is states in an interstate compact. So if they don't have a medical license in Indiana, THEY CAN'T WRITE A PRESCRIPTION FOR SOMEONE LIVING IN INDIANA!


Tenant ESA (by Tim [CA]) Posted on: Mar 24, 2024 10:24 PM

Another reason to dislike leases. Renting month to month gives you the freedom to raise the rent any time (within reason). --73.2.xx.xx

Tenant ESA (by MC [PA]) Posted on: Mar 25, 2024 5:33 AM

Save yourself. Tell them to provide the name, phone number etc. I like the letter above. I would also include that they have X days to provide it. --73.230.xxx.xx

Tenant ESA (by DJ [VA]) Posted on: Mar 25, 2024 8:13 AM

Does your rental agreement have anything in it about landlord approval needed before an animal moves in? With a penalty if you discover an unauthorized one?

consider adding it --68.229.xxx.xxx

Tenant ESA (by Renne [TX]) Posted on: Mar 25, 2024 8:57 AM

Annie, here is something else to think about.

We had an applicant who listed an ESA and a service dog on the application. During our standard the in- home visit which is part of our qualification process, 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. (So 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 a and b."

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.

Have you inspected your home after the animal began living there? Are there damages for the animal? urine smell? Potty pads on the floor indicating the animal is not potty trained?

You approved them without an animal so now they need to be approved with an animal- that includes an in home visit to their current home.

Go read this post: Material Change (by Jason [VA]) Posted on: Mar 23, 2024 4:11 PM

He delt masterfully with a lying applicant who claimed to have an ESA.


Tenant ESA (by MikeA [TX]) Posted on: Mar 25, 2024 12:33 PM

A quick google search reveals that there is a web site that Indianna maintains to check on licenses. You should be able to put the license number in and it tell you if it's valid and/or what kind of license it is (IE: if they are a plumber).

Assuming it's not a valid license, I would then tell the tenant that you are unable to verify the license provided with the State and need more detailed information on the licensed healthcare provider to offer the ESA accommodation.

mylicense.in.gov/everification/Search.aspx --209.205.xxx.xx

Tenant ESA (by LisaFL [FL]) Posted on: Mar 25, 2024 1:05 PM

I wouldnít renew with them at all for sneaking in any kind of animal without permission . This shows clearly they donít respect the lease and rules donít apply to them. --24.236.xx.xx

Tenant ESA (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Mar 25, 2024 1:26 PM

Sounds good in theory, but note that the FHAA does NOT REQUIRE that tenants with a new ESA inform the landlord. We can hate on that all we want, but it doesn't change the law.

So, any LL doing what LisaFL just suggested -- ending their lease because they didn't get notified of an ESA -- would actually be the ones acting like the "rules don't apply to them."

Do I think that is unfair to landlords? Yes. But don't get yourself in trouble by violating federal law just because you think it is "unfair."


Tenant ESA (by Annie [IN]) Posted on: Mar 25, 2024 1:51 PM

I did check the website for Indiana licenses, and did find this "professional" holds an Indiana license. According to the "professional's" website, she holds licenses in a number of states. Why in the heck, though, does a therapist in Texas hold licenses in far flung states?

My personal opinion, it is most likely someone who is churning out these "letters" for a fee. Can't prove it, but there you are.

Going back through the tenant history, this particular tenant inquired back last Summer about getting a dog and all the information was sent to her at that time regarding the requirements, deposit and fees associated with having an animal on the premises. When we did not get it back, we inquired and she said she had decided against it. Very suspicious!

Based on the other documentation the tenant provided over this past weekend (when prodded after the fact), is that she has had the animal since at least January (based on the vet's statement). She obtained her "letter" on March 22nd, 3 days after we informed her she would have to pay fees and deposits.

Seems like this is a play to not have to pay the fees and deposit.

It seems like today all the laws are for the benefit of the tenants, and the landlord's are getting screwed big time.


Tenant ESA (by Scott [IN]) Posted on: Mar 25, 2024 2:01 PM

In Indiana, it is a Class A Infraction to misrepresent an ESA, punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and 1 year in prison. Not as serious as a felony, but still a crime. --107.141.xx.xxx

Tenant ESA (by Scott [IN]) Posted on: Mar 25, 2024 2:09 PM

Sorry. Mybad. Class A Infraction is not a crime. Punishable by up to $10,000 fine but no jail. Hope I got it right this time. --107.141.xx.xxx

Tenant ESA (by LisaFL [FL]) Posted on: Mar 25, 2024 6:30 PM

Except John (MI), I donít need to have a reason for non renewing. I can non renew for any reason an all. So your comment is not relevant at all. They will only get away with their bogus ESA until their lease expires and then in most places you can simply decide not to renew. --24.236.xx.xx

Tenant ESA (by Just Tim [AR]) Posted on: Mar 25, 2024 8:06 PM

John... [MI] - you state that the FHAA does not require a tenant to notify the LL of a new ESA. Everything I have read seems to indicate that the tenant must make an accomodation request. Could you provide a reference stating that they would not have to request an accomodation?

From www.hud.gov/program_offices/fair_housing_equal_opp/assistance_animals

"The Fair Housing Act requires a housing provider to allow a reasonable accommodation involving an assistance animal in situations that meet all the following conditions:

A request was made to the housing provider by or for a person with a disability...." --68.1.xxx.xx

Tenant ESA (by Ray-N-Pa [PA]) Posted on: Mar 26, 2024 6:12 AM

So as landlords we need to give special consideration to ESAs. They help our residents. That much I follow - but What is next though?

The emotional support Girlfriend or Boyfriend? I don't think the wife or husband will appreciate it that much --24.101.xxx.xxx

Tenant ESA (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Mar 26, 2024 12:05 PM

LisaFL: You flat out said that you would not renew them "for sneaking in the animal." I simply pointed out that if you actually did that and they knew it (or even assumed it and used some free legal counsel) -- and it was an ESA that they had documentation for (like they do now in this case) -- then you could get into trouble.

Sorry, but what I said absolutely was relevant to the situation. Your advice could get people into trouble. I was just pointing that out.


Tenant ESA (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Mar 26, 2024 12:09 PM

Just Tim: What you quoted says that the housing provider must allow a reasonable accommodation if a proper request is made. That part doesn't say anything about WHEN the request has to be made.

I don't have the reference handy as I don't have my notes with me today, but I did see this covered before. Basically, the idea is that if the building has a "no pets" policy, then there is no obligation for a tenant to report the ESA beforehand because the ESA is not a pet.

If I recall, it is not explicitly stated in the FHAA. But, in general, things that are not specifically stated like that tend to default to siding with the tenant, not the housing provider.


Tenant ESA (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Mar 26, 2024 12:13 PM

I wish we could have these sorts of discussions without going off track EVERY time with complaining about how bad the system is and "what's next? An emotional support boyfriend" sorts of comments.

Yes, we KNOW. I think ALL of us freakin' agree that the ESA system is abused. We get it. Most of us have witnessed the abuse with our own eyes.

But so what?? It doesn't change the legal requirements that we are under. Wouldn't it be easier to just discuss what we have to do as landlords to deny when we can, but not get into trouble? That's what this forum should be for. A landlord that is new to the site has just popped in for advice on how to handle things properly.

Instead of just giving that, we're all complaining about how ESAs aren't really needed and how everyone cheats and that it is a slippery slope to donkeys and other humans apparently.

None of that is really that helpful. We've re-hashed it over and over and over again. How about we stick to helping each other without the drama?


Tenant ESA (by Peacegarden [ND]) Posted on: Mar 26, 2024 1:00 PM

When tenants start lying and playing games it's time for them go. On a month to month rental you can either raise rent or send notice of non renewal with only 30days notice.

This is the best way to handle problem tenants. Make them someone else's problem --174.229.xxx.xxx

Tenant ESA (by NE [PA]) Posted on: Mar 26, 2024 1:16 PM

Still cryin John? --24.152.xxx.xx

Tenant ESA (by NE [PA]) Posted on: Mar 26, 2024 1:18 PM

Why do landlords go off course and complain about things like ESAís? Itís because weíre forced to deal with things that are completely &@&Ē/&-ing STUPID, thatís why! Iíd rather 100 ways that landlords have found loopholes and cheat codes to get around ESAís than 1 way to comply with something that doesnít make sense. Kind of like the masks, remember those? Made no sense. --24.152.xxx.xx

Tenant ESA (by LisaFL [FL]) Posted on: Mar 26, 2024 6:30 PM

John (MI),

Well I didnít say I would give them a reason to non-renew them because I donít have to give them a reason and well wouldnít that be dumb on my part.

If someone doesnít follow my lease agreement for any reason they arenít going to be the kind of tenant I feel comfortable renting to and I would simply move them along at my next opportunity and wish them well. No explanation needed. --24.236.xx.xx

Tenant ESA (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Mar 26, 2024 8:35 PM

NE: Yes, but we all KNOW they are stupid. Therefore, discussing the LEGAL aspects on how to handle the stupid requests are what makes the most sense here.

You asking me if I'm "still cryin'" and then complaining about mask wearing here is just digging up the drama that I'm talking about that makes this forum suck.

There's no reason to have all of that garbage when some newbie is just asking a question about how to legally/properly/best handle the situation at hand.


Tenant ESA (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Mar 26, 2024 8:36 PM

Lisa: That sounds great. The way you wrote it, you were saying that was the reason that you'd do it. I simply warned people to not do that. If you want to non-renew them without a reason given, then great. Go for it. But in a thread with a new person here asking questions that could have legal consequences, I think it makes sense to make it very clear what you should and should not say or do.

You giving them no reason and just not renewing sounds good. That's much better advice.


Tenant ESA (by NE [PA]) Posted on: Mar 26, 2024 9:12 PM

John, I have to agree with you about all the crap newbies can get buried under here, but it hasnít mattered. So game on! --24.152.xxx.xx

Tenant ESA (by GLR [MA]) Posted on: Mar 27, 2024 12:27 PM

i usually request that they prove the animal has all it's vaccinations.

If they are a dog, I also make them prove that the dog is licensed with the city (which itself has requirements). This whittles down a good portion of this nonsense. It's not me. I'm following the town's requirements.

I do however still get BS letters from doctors (therapists). Usually the these folks just don't want to deal/say no to a good portion of these folks, so they just write the letter. Think pill shopping. --209.6.x.xxx

Tenant ESA (by Ilsa. [AZ]) Posted on: Mar 27, 2024 6:11 PM

If there are records stating tenant had dog in January, but the ESA letter they provided was dated in March, then that means they had a PET in January which became an ESA in March once a healthcare provider prescribed one. No?

I'd want to charge PET fees for January through March, then waive fees when a valid prescription was provided.

Also, if you have not provided a copy of the renewal lease, maybe there are some clauses you have been thinking about adding to the updated lease. They would of course, have the option to accept or decline the offer to renew upon reviewing your new lease and all the clauses and fees that they may or may not agree with. --174.17.xx.xxx

Tenant ESA (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Apr 2, 2024 8:37 AM

Lisa: Not necessarily. The law does not actually require that a tenant report an ESA to the landlord. It requires that they provide proper documentation when asked. It's a little odd and not intuitive -- the animal can be an ESA before it is documented as one. The law is about the accommodation for the animal, not about when it is considered one.

So, no, it is not as simple as going "It was a pet for January and February because I didn't have the documentation paperwork until March."


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