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Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 33717
Experience:  15 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
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I do have an Emotional Support Animal even though my

Customer Question

I do have an Emotional Support Animal even though my apartment does not allow dogs. Sh has never done an damage nor have any complaints ever been made. Now my apartment is threatening to evict and charge me hundreds of dollars for having an animal and if I do not provide a doctor's note I will have to move and will also be charged hundreds of dollars. Is this some thing they can do even if I have a certificate and paperwork?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 9 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

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Is your paperwork in the form of a "prescription" from a licensed health care professional?

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Or is it an independent certification from one of the online websites?

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Who issued the certificate and paperwork?

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
The paperwork is under the National Service Animal Registry
Expert:  Barrister replied 9 months ago.

Ok, unfortunately, that is not legally recognized as a "prescription" by a licensed health care professional and has been referred to as fake certification site. See here:

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http://servicedogcentral.org/content/fake-service-dog-credentials

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There are a some people who just want to keep pets and claim that they are ESAs or Service Animals so the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act gives landlords the right to ask for a letter or prescription from an appropriate professional, such as a therapist or physician, that state that the person has a disability, and he or she is entitled to a reasonable accommodation that would allow an emotional support/service animal in the apartment.

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With that said, if you can go to your doctor or other licensed health care professional, like a therapist or psychologist, and get a letter from them stating you have a disability and they recommend an ESA, then you are good. Otherwise, the landlord can evict for a violation of their no pets policy and hold you liable for any damages.

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As an aside, in addition to being an attorney, I have also been a landlord for over 26 years...

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I am very sorry that I don’t have better news, but please understand that I do have an ethical and professional obligation to provide customers with legally correct answers based on my knowledge and experience, even when I know the answer doesn’t make the customer happy...

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thanks

Barrister

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