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How to get an Emotional Support Animal into a Condo Association that does not allow pets?

I just moved in to a condo where the association does not allow pets. I didn't write on the lease that i had any pets and my cat has stayed with my mother.

I have been seeing a doctor for the last year about my depression, anxiety, and sleeping disorders. A year ago i attempted to commit suicide because i was severely depressed. I was Baker Acted and I then decided to follow a medical treatment plan. I now take anti-depressants and anti-anxiety/sleeping medication.

I am wondering if my cat can be legally considered as an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) so that the association will allow my cat to live here. I understand that my doctor would have to write a prescription for an emotional support animal. I just got her spayed a long with vaccines a few weeks ago. I've read that writing a resume for your pet and getting letters from your neighbors saying that the pet does not bother them can be helpful. But I am wondering what else might be involved, and also if it is worth it to try.

I've written down sections about pets from my lease agreement and from the condo association rules and regulations:


34) PETS. Pets are permitted only with consent of the property manager. Pets are limited to dogs, cats, and fish. No other types of pets are permitted on the premises! No exotic animals are permitted. A formal pet application must be submitted to and approved by the property manager. When approved, a non-refundable fee of $_____________ (total regardless of number of pets) is owed immediately to property manager prior to pet being placed on premises. In addition, you are required to obtain renters insurance that does not contain an animal liability exclusion.


23. PETS:

No pets shall be allowed unless said pets are particularly as to each Unit Owner, permitted in writing by the Association. Said permission shall be revocable 3 days after any date that the Board of Directors declares a pet to be a nuisance. Tenants are not allowed to have pets, existing tenants (tenants who moved in PRIOR to December 1, 2011) with pets will be grandfathered in until the lease is terminated or the pet dies.

I miss my girl, she has helped me tremendously throughout my rehabilitation process. Depressive moods and stresses/anxieties could be much more easily manageable with her companionship. I am 22 years old and this is my first real experience living fully on my own. It is stressful and I just wish she were here with me.


I do not care if there is a deposit to be made. I would pay for a deposit and anything else that may be required to have an animal here. I am not in any way trying to make a mockery of any disabilities or just trying to get away with anything. I don't even understand how you can respond to my question with such absurdities.

Update 2:

There is a difference between a service animal and an emotional support animal.

Also something else I was looking at about ESAs

6 Answers

  • 7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    To have a Emotional Support Animal (ESA) you must:

    1) Be mentally disabled or have a mental condition severe enough to be considered disabling. Having a "condition" won't cut it. You must be mentally disabled or have a mental condition severe enough to be considered disabling. Period. The only exception is for the elderly.

    2) Be under the ongoing care of a mental health professional. A regular doctor will not do.

    3) The mental health professional must determine that an ESA would be beneficial to your treatment plan.

    4) The mental health professional writes you a letter detailing your need for an ESA.

    5) You turn this in to your landlord / condo association along with a letter requesting accommodation. Send it registered mail. You can also include the HUD / FHA rules regarding ESA's and, if you prefer, a pet resume.

    6) You wait for approval from the condo association.

    7) Only after you get approval do you bring the animal on the premises.

    Realize that they do not have to give approvals for ESA's. These are not service animals and are not protected under ADA law. You must keep the animal confined, cleaned up after and a non nuisance. If other tenants complain, the approval can be revoked.

    Since ESA's aren't service animals, they can be any domestic animal (within reason) and do not require any specialized training, although they do need to be well behaved.

    Don't fall for the online scams that sell certification, registration, identifications or licenses that magically make your animal an ESA or service animal. They're all scams. For novelty purposes only. Absolutely worthless. According to the law, none of these are required and they won't hold up in court, not to mention most landlords/condo associations know these things aren't legal and will automatically believe you are "faking" if you turn one of them in.


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  • 4 years ago

    All you can do is try - get the doctor to write a detailed letter as to why you need the pet and the condo should accept this. If not, they would be violating the law for service animals. This is one of the biggest reasons I would never buy a condo - you are buying a "house" where you are told what you can or can't have as a pet. I can see rentals, but not for something you are buying.

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  • 7 years ago

    Well Sam if your animal is registered as an ESA you can't be charged any fees to keep the animal in your domicile (you are still responsible for any damage caused) see the links below for further information. Good Luck

    "If you have an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) or are thinking of registering your animal, you must get a letter of prescription from a licensed mental health professional".

    "Fair Housing Information Sheet # 6

    Right to Emotional Support Animals in "No Pet" Housing"

    "In Spite of Recent Ruling, Emotional Support Animals are still Invaluable Help for People with Mental Health Conditions".

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  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    So rather than pay the extra money, as outlined in your lease. You've basically decided to make fun of disabled people by pretending your pet is a "service animal."

    You have no chance at all of winning such a case.

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    Lv 7
    7 years ago
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  • 7 years ago

    no certification or license means they do not have to accept your pet.

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