Unsorted Wild Birds

Emotional Support or Service Animals: Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988


Service and Emotional Support Animals under the FairHousing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act

Landlords are legally required to

  • … make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices or services to provide equal opportunity to use and enjoy a residential dwelling, which may mean the waiver of any “no pets” rules or any associated fees.

The Landlord cannot:

  • … ask a tenant to pay a deposit, fee, or surcharge in exchange for having a service or emotional support animal, even if they require such a practice from owners who wish to obtain pets in their dwelling…. require than an emotional support animal have any specific training… require the service or emotional support animal to wear or carry any special collar, harness, vest, emblem, or other means of identifying it as such…. inquire about the extent of the disability, or ask for detailed medical records for the individual requesting the service or emotional support animal.

The Landlord has the right to …

  • … request documentation (please refer to below) from a physician, psychiatrist, social worker, or other mental health professional stating that the animal provides support which mitigates at least one identified symptom of the owner’s disability.expect that the animal poses no threat to other tenants and is not a major nuisance…. may charge a person with a disability for damages caused to the premises by their emotional support or service animal.

Websites for Registering your Emotional Support Animal:



  • Upon request, the owner must present documentation (no older than one year preceding the date of the scheduled initial flight), as specified below …
      • Letter on official stationary from a licensed mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, licensed clinical social worker or medical doctor treating the passenger for a mental or emotional disability.


      • The mental health-related disability has to be recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-Fourth Edition (DSM IV);


      • The date and type of the health professional’s license and the state or other jurisdiction in which it was issued need to be listed.


    • The treating medical professional has to stipulate that the patient needs the emotional support or psychiatric service animal as part of your treatment protocol.

For further information, please contact:

HUD—Regional Fair Housing Office
400 E. 14th St. 400 State Ave., Room 200
Kansas City, Kansas 66101
913-551-6993 or 1-800-743-5323


Species Research by Sibylle Johnson

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Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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