Sample Letter to Landlord for Emotional Support Animal

Drawing from my extensive experience in writing letters for emotional support animal accommodations (ESAs), I offer a comprehensive step-by-step guide and customizable template to simplify and enhance your letter-drafting process.

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding ESAs: Know the legal distinction between ESAs and service animals.
  • Know Your Rights: Familiarize yourself with the Fair Housing Act and how it protects ESA owners.
  • Documentation: Ensure you have legitimate documentation for your ESA from a licensed mental health professional.
  • Clear Communication: Articulate the need for your ESA and how it assists you.
  • Template Provided: Use the provided template as a starting point for your letter.
  • Personal Experience: Learn from real-life examples to craft a compelling letter.
  • Follow-Up: Understand the importance of following up after sending your letter.

Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Your Letter

Step 1: Understand Your Rights



Before drafting your letter, it’s crucial to understand your rights under the Fair Housing Act (FHA). This act prohibits discrimination against tenants with disabilities, which includes those requiring ESAs for emotional support.

Step 2: Obtain Legitimate Documentation

Ensure you have an ESA letter from a licensed mental health professional. This document should confirm that your ESA is vital for your mental health and well-being.

Step 3: Draft Your Letter


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Start your letter by introducing yourself and your ESA. Clearly state that you are requesting accommodation for your emotional support animal under the FHA.

Provide Details About Your ESA

  • Type of animal
  • Name of the animal
  • How the animal assists you

Step 4: Attach Documentation

Include a copy of your ESA letter with your rental application or provide it as needed to support your request.

Step 5: Be Clear and Concise

Explain why your ESA is necessary for your emotional support. Use clear, respectful language to convey your message effectively.

Step 6: Send and Follow Up

After sending your letter, be prepared to follow up. This shows your commitment and helps ensure your request is processed in a timely manner.

Template for Your ESA Letter

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State, Zip]
[Date]

[Landlord’s Name]
[Landlord’s Address]
[City, State, Zip]

Dear [Landlord’s Name],

I am writing to request reasonable accommodation for my emotional support animal, [Animal’s Name], in the property I am renting at [Your Address]. As per the Fair Housing Act, I am entitled to this accommodation to help manage my mental health condition.

My mental health professional, [Professional’s Name], has provided documentation confirming the necessity of [Animal’s Name] for my emotional well-being. This letter is attached for your review.

[Animal’s Name] is a [Animal’s Type] and plays a crucial role in my daily life by [explain how the animal helps you]. I assure you that [Animal’s Name] is well-behaved and will not cause any undue burden on the property or other tenants.

Thank you for considering my request. I am willing to provide any further information you may require. Please feel free to contact me at [Your Contact Information].

Sincerely,
[Your Name]

Personal Tips from Experience

  • Empathy: Remember that your landlord may not be familiar with the concept of ESAs. Approach the topic with empathy and readiness to educate.
  • Documentation: Keep all communications and documentation organized. This can be crucial if disputes arise.
  • Respect: Always maintain a tone of respect. You’re more likely to receive a positive response when you show understanding and courtesy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: How do I approach my landlord about my need for an emotional support animal in my apartment?

Answer: I was really anxious about discussing my emotional support animal with my landlord, fearing rejection. To my relief, after explaining my situation and providing the necessary documentation, they were quite understanding and allowed my ESA to stay with me.

Q: What documentation did I need to provide to my landlord for my emotional support animal?

Answer: I had to gather my ESA’s certification and a letter from my healthcare provider. It was a bit stressful getting all the paperwork in order, but once I did, my landlord accepted my emotional support animal without any issues.

Q: How did my landlord react when I first mentioned bringing an emotional support animal into my rental?

Answer: I was nervous about their reaction, but I made sure to communicate openly and provide all necessary documentation. To my surprise, they were supportive and made the process straightforward.

Q: What should I do if my landlord initially refuses my request for an emotional support animal?

Answer: I was disheartened when my landlord hesitated, but I didn’t give up. I provided more detailed information about my needs and the legal protections for ESAs, which eventually led to a positive outcome.

Q: Can my landlord charge me extra for having an emotional support animal in my apartment?

Answer: I was worried about additional fees, but I learned that landlords can’t charge extra for emotional support animals. I made sure to clarify this, and my landlord agreed, recognizing the legal protections for ESAs.

Q: How did I handle neighbors’ concerns about my emotional support animal in our building?

Answer: Initially, there were a few eyebrows raised about my ESA, but I took the time to explain its importance for my mental health. Gradually, my neighbors understood and even became quite supportive of my situation.

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