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B S asked in PetsOther - Pets · 10 years ago

Are Landlords able to charge a non-refundable pet deposit for Emotional Support Animals?

I am going to be moving into a new apartment in Minnesota and will be adopting a 1 year old dog. My landlord is requiring a non-refundable $200.00 security deposit as well as an additional $20.00/month rent. I do have documentation from a psychologist stating the need for an Emotional Support Animal. Has anyone else ever experienced this or have any insight into the legality of this? Any information provided would be helpful!


I understand that they are under no obligation for Emotional Support Animals to allow them in the building, but since they do allow them I am wondering the reason for a "non-refundable" deposit. It is above and beyond the normal security deposit of $250.00 and if the dog does no damage, why would the company be able to profit? There are rules and regulations for service animals under FHA, which is what the management company classifies animals under.

4 Answers

  • Chetco
    Lv 7
    10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    This is quoted from the ADA site:

    according to the the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, emotional support animals are allowed in housing even when a landlord's policy explicitly prohibits pets. The reason is that emotional support dogs are not actually "pets," but rather are more like assistive aids such as wheelchairs. In most housing complexes, so long as the tenant has a letter or prescription from an appropriate professional, such as a therapist or physician.

    At the bottom of that page, are phone numbers and email contact info, so you can ask them about the deposit issue.

    On page 5 of this pdf, the landlord cannot charge an excessive deposit, and in some states cannot charge a deposit unless there is evidence that the animal has caused damage in the past;

    I would still recommend that you contact the ADA representatives above, to get the best counsel.

  • ?
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    Legally they are under no obligation to allow an ESA. Landlords, businesses etc are under no obligation to allow access to ESA as they are not legally service dogs. Landlords etc can treat ESAs as they would any other pet which includes requiring a pet deposit, and not allowing the animal on the property. Some landlords may allow an ESA in no pets allowed housing or wave deposits but they are under absolutely no obligation to do so as you have no legal rights with regard to an ESA

    Edit: Apartment complexes and rental properties each have their own polices. They can legally have a non-refundable deposit if they so choose and many do. Even though your pet does no damage the apartment does require cleaning above and beyond what would be required if no pet lived in the apartment to protect tenants that may move in after you who have pet allergies. They have the right to have what ever policy they wish regarding pets at their private business. You have a right to live elsewhere if you don't like the policy. The rules and regulations regarding service animals under the FHA do not apply to ESA, they are not legally service animals.

  • JenVT
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    Yes because it is a damage deposit. They can't discriminate against you because you need the dog, but they don't have to give you special concessions either.

  • 6 years ago

    actually, FHA REQUIRES THEM TO ALLOW ESAs..and I think it is illegal to charge more

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