Los Angeles is a great city for emotional support animals or ESA’s as they’re commonly known. An emotional support animal is a companion animal which provides therapeutic benefit to their owner. These animals help with alleviating some symptoms of a disability associated with mental or emotional health. Emotional support animals are typically dogs and cats, but may include other animals.
ESA Los Angeles- Knowing The Law
The Fair Housing Act
Emotional support animals are protected when living with you under the Fair Housing Act (FHA). An ESA is viewed as a “reasonable accommodation” in a housing unit that has a “no pets” rule for its residents. Emotional support animals are not “pets,” but rather are considered to be more like assistive aids.
The law generally requires the landlord to make an exception to its “no pet” policy. This allows people with a disability to fully use and enjoy his or her home. If a tenant has a letter or prescription from an appropriate professional, he or she is legally entitled to a reasonable accommodation.
Property owners with restrictions on breed, size, or species of animal must make reasonable accommodations to allow individuals with a verified diagnosis and ESA letter to reside with their animal. For example, a property only permitting cats cannot deny an ESA owner housing because his or her ESA is a dog.
Property owners cannot require ESAs to wear identifying tags or require owners to post identifying materials on their home. Additionally, property owners cannot demand details on the nature of the disability. They must respect the information provided in the ESA letter or diagnosis.
If you live in the Los Angeles area and are having trouble with a landlord about an ESA staying with you, the local branch of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), may be able to help.
The Air Carrier Access Act
Another way in which emotional support animals help their owners is while flying. You are allowed to travel with your ESA under The Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA).
Anyone with a letter from a mental health professional verifying the emotional benefit of the animal, will be allowed to travel with their animal. The airline is not legally allowed to ask questions about the disability. They also cannot restrict ESA owners and their animals from boarding the airplane.
The ACAA also protects ESA owners from being charged a fee for their ESA accompanying them, so long as the appropriate requirements are met. CertaPet recommends that ESA owners be practical and prepared when flying with an ESA. We also recommended contacting a prospective airline at least 48 hours in advance of flying.
Be prepared if an ESA is too large to fit in a traditional airline seat. It may be necessary to situate the ESA owner in a seat that will allow room for the ESA without obstructing pathways and doors. Be ready with appropriate documentation when approaching the ticket agent.
If your ESA letter is valid, and your ESA letter is not more than one year old, the airline must allow you and your ESA to board without charging fees.
ESA Los Angeles- What disabilities qualify me for an ESA?
Emotional support animals can alleviate a multitude of disabilities. ESA’s haven’t been known to help with many forms of depression and anxiety. Emotional support animals are also used to lessen stress in their owner’s everyday lives. The best way to determine if you would be a great candidate is too talk to a licensed medical or mental health professional.
CertaPet offers a free and simple 5-minute survey. This is used to determine whether you might be a person who could be helped by an emotional service animal.
ESA Los Angeles- What can CertaPet Do For You?
Not only does CertaPet offer a free 5-minute survey to determine whether you might be a person who could be helped by an emotional service animal. We also have an extensive network of licensed medical professionals in most states, including California.