Published on: May 22, 2018
Whispers abound that the Department of Housing and Urban Development will issue revised guidelines this year around emotional support animals, giving landlords and property managers more authority to verify that a tenant’s need for such an animal is legitimate.
Currently, owners and tenants can apply for and receive medical certifications for emotional support animals online without having to provide detailed proof of their need. One such website is TheDogtor.net, which is run by a group of California doctors—one of whom continued to offer medical advice to site users after losing his license. The site charges $149.99 for a support animal certification.
HUD may be willing to put a caveat [into their guidelines] that tenants must have a letter from a licensed health care provider that they have a demonstrated ongoing professional relationship with—not just on the internet. Landlords and property managers would also be permitted to call the health care provider to verify their relationship with a tenant. HUD’s revised owner’s guidelines will “hopefully” include language clarifying what is a “reasonable accommodation” for tenants with emotional support animals.
Written by Ed Allcock firstname.lastname@example.org