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I was recently recommended by both my doctor and psychiatrist to get an emotional support animal and both signed paperwork for me to do so (to help with my bipolar disorder and agoraphobia) but my landlord has a no dog policy. He allows cats but I feel a cat would not be a good fit as part of the reason for me getting an ESA would be for me to get out of the house and be more sociable. I know that he is legally required to allow the animal under FHA laws but I don't want to force him to allow it and be upset about it. Here's the kicker, he is also my grandfather, which is one of the main reasons I don't want to force this on him. He's afraid that if I get a dog than other people in the building will want to get one too, although I'm sure that's probably not the only reason. Any advice on how to talk to him and open him up to the idea? I'm afraid if he can't be agreeable to the idea I will most likely end up moving out, and that's not really something I want to do (rent prices in my area are ridiculous) and I love my home.
 

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Is there anyone else in the family who believes that it would benefit you to get a dog that could help you convince your grandfather?
 

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Explain to your grandfather that you aren't just getting a dog for the heck of it, explain that you truly feel it will benefit your mental health. Physically show him the recommendations from your doctor. If possible (ie if he is willing), discuss the ways in which an Emotional Support Animal will help you. Be mature, factual, and nice. Explain that the dog will be trained and that if any damages occur you will be 100% responsible for them. You could also let your grandfather know that even if the people behind you want a pet he doesn't have to allow it. He can simply tell them, "I'm sorry, we currently have a no pet policy which was outlined in your rental agreement." He really doesn't have to say anything else about it.

.....If, however, they throw a fit about wanting a pet then perhaps he can mention you are allowed to have a support animal (which is not legally considered just a pet) per your doctors recommendations. Not that it is any of their business, but it might make everything more understandable.

good luck.
 

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I thought Emotional Support Animals weren't protected by any federal laws?

Just make sure before you put your grandfather in the position of covering himself with the other tenants.

Good luck! I hope it all works out
 

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I thought Emotional Support Animals weren't protected by any federal laws?
It is my understanding that they are granted some permissions under the Americans with Disabilities Act however they are definitely not in the same category as an actual Service Animal. An Emotional Support Animal is essentially an animal that helps with their owner's mental health and well being so that they can function through life as "normal" as possible. They do not have to necessarily be trained (unlike service animals which 100% must be trained or in training). The requirements for an emotional service animal are simply a note from a therapist/doctor stating an individual would indeed benefit from one. It's like having a prescription for an animal.

Some housing places do not have to allow ESA's at all, despite the common myth that -ALL- housing must accommodate them. I am not well versed in which housing must allow them and which housing can actually refuse them. I do know that ESA's are not allowed in all public places (stores etc) where as Service Animals are allowed anywhere that their handler (ie disabled owner) is. (if a store has a no pets policy that = no ESA either)
 

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I thought Emotional Support Animals weren't protected by any federal laws?

Just make sure before you put your grandfather in the position of covering himself with the other tenants.

Good luck! I hope it all works out
They are protected by Federal law. I have a comfort dog. I live in a house so I've never had to deal with a landlord but mine accompanies me on flights, hotels, etc.
 

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I think it depends on how they are classified
(Service versus Support)

https://adata.org/publication/service-animals-booklet

"Emotional support animals, comfort animals, and therapy dogs are not service animals under Title II and Title III of the ADA. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not considered service animals either. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the individual’s disability. It does not matter if a person has a note from a doctor that states that the person has a disability and needs to have the animal for emotional support. A doctor’s letter does not turn an animal into a service animal."
 

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I meant to put this part too about housing
Don't want to start a debate, just wanted the OP to be aware that there are some intricacies before she talks to her grandfather about it

"The Fair Housing Act (FHA) protects a person with a disability from discrimination in obtaining housing. Under this law, a landlord or homeowner’s association must provide reasonable accommodation to people with disabilities so that they have an equal opportunity to enjoy and use a dwelling.8 Emotional support animals that do not qualify as service animals under the ADA may nevertheless qualify as reasonable accommodations under the FHA.9 In cases when a person with a disability uses a service animal or an emotional support animal, a reasonable accommodation may include waiving a no-pet rule or a pet deposit.10 This animal is not considered a pet."

From another site

"Property managers/landlords are NOT required to make a reasonable accommodation under the Fair Housing Act for ESAs or Service Animals in these cases:

Buildings with 4 or less units where the landlord occupies one of the units
Single family housing sold or rented without a real estate broker
Hotels and Motels are not considered dwellings under the FHA but are considered places of public accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act
Private Clubs"
 

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I am encouraged by this thread and recent similar threads. Here on this forum, many questions are met with solution based critical thinking, research, plus experience sharing.
That's about as good as it gets as a role model for people coming here seeking help for their dog related issues because it models procedures that they can themselves use, both for themselves and their dogs, and for when they reach the point of paying it forward, and are able to help others.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for all the responses guys, for those worried about it not being protected under law, it is. I've done a lot of research, the housing unit is more than 4 units. I definitely wanted to wait to show him the letters but I think I might now to help him better understand that this wouldn't just be a pet for me, but something that could really help improve my health and life. I still need to figure out how to start the conversation though as he tends to get very shut off as soon as I bring up the subject.
 

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I don't think she wants to back grandpa up against a wall and not give him a choice, so hopefully grandpa will be willing to allow the dog. I can't imagine a grandfather not wanting to help a grandchild, and if the dog is registered as a comfort dog, that should be good enough to shut the other tenants up about why that dog is allowed and theirs is not. I have never once been told that my comfort dog is not allowed anywhere I brought him. I think most people understand that traveling with a dog is not the easiest thing to do and most of us wouldn't go through the trouble if it wasn't necessary. Plus I think most people are not assholes about the whole thing and just let it go. The rule is that one's dog MUST behave and if there is any sort of problem the dog has to go.
 
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