13 Facts Every ESA Owner in Texas Should Know
On January 28th, 2020, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued new guidance regarding Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) in housing.
(*This is a very important development for owners of ESAs and it is the first comprehensive update to ESA housing rules made since 2013.)
13 Facts Every Current or Potential Owner of Emotional Support Animals (ESA) in Texas Should Know
- Dogs, cats, small birds, rabbits, hamsters, other rodents and even turtles can be ESAs.
- Landlords are required to engage in interactive dialogue with tenants about ESA requests.
- ESA requests can be made orally or in writing (ESA Letter will still be required for approval)
- Tenants can make an ESA request before or after acquiring their ESA Letter
- HUD confirms that landlords are not allowed to refuse based on breed/weight restrictions.
- Landlords are prevented from being able to charge fees and deposits for ESAs.
- Landlords are expected to respond to ESA requests promptly, and at least within 10 days.
- Landlords cannot require your healthcare professional to use a specific form for their ESA Letter
- Landlords cannot request sensitive details about the tenant’s condition (your privacy protected)
- HOAs and Co-Ops are also subject to ESA rules
- Tenants can use the help of third-parties to care for their ESAs
- Registrations and licenses are NOT legitimate ways to qualify an ESA
- ESA letters can come from online health professionals (must be licensed in your State)
All current and prospective owners of ESAs in Texas should become familiar with these new rules which are now in effect and replace the 2013 rules.