Have you or someone you know ever been denied for housing by a landlord or home owners' association because you or he/she own a dog that is on a breed restricted list? Do you believe that your mental well being is enhanced by the presence of your pet and that you have a valid emotional condition necessitating your animal for the reduction of your distressing symptoms? If you answered yes to these questions, you may have recourse! An Emotional Support Animal (ESA) is any household pet that is a means of support to his or her owner who has been diagnosed with an identifiable psychological disorder that limits one or more vital daily life activities.
Emotional Support Pets are PERMITTED IN NON-PET LONG TERM RENTAL HOUSING. IT IS THE LAW to permit the ownership of these pets in what is otherwise non-pet long term rental housing. According to the law, the owner is entitled to keep a dog in his or her unit as a reasonable accommodation for his disability. According to the Fair Housing Act, "[The] housing provider [must] modify or provide an exception to a “no pets” rule or policy to permit a person with a disability to live with and use an assistance animal(s) in all areas of the premises where persons are normally allowed to go, unless doing so would impose an undue financial and administrative burden or would fundamentally alter the nature of the housing provider’s services. The request may also be denied if: (1) the specific assistance animal in question poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others that cannot be reduced or eliminated by another reasonable accommodation, or (2) the specific assistance animal in question would cause substantial physical damage to the property of others that cannot be reduced or eliminated by another reasonable accommodation.
Psychological Disorders include:
● Anxiety (Specific or Generalized) ● Personality Disorders
● Post Traumatic Stress Disorder ● Mood Disorders
● Depressive Disorder ● Panic disorder(s)
● Social Phobia(s) (including fear of flying)
● And any other psychological disorder that is recognized by the DSM-V
(Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders).
If you are deemed eligible by a licensed mental health provider, you may obtain what is known as a letter of prescription to help facilitate this process. Dr. Jessica Tommasi conducts these evaluations to determine whether you may qualify for this special accommodation. Please contact our office for additional information!
*Important: Please do not assume that having an evaluation automatically makes you eligible to receive an ESA Letter of Prescription, as Dr. Tommasi may find that you do not qualify for the reasons which will be discussed with you at the time of your appointment.
** Also, please be aware that while Dr. Tommasi may determine that you qualify for an ESA once your assessment is conducted, she cannot be held responsible should your condo association, HOA, landlord, property manager, airline, etc. choose not to legally comply and accommodate your disability.**