How Hard Is It To Get An ESA Letter?

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How Hard Is It To Get An ESA Letter?

It's no secret that pets can reduce the effects of stress, anxiety, and depression. But for the millions of people that suffer from the debilitating effects of mental illness, they have proven to be therapeutic lifesavers that have a positive impact on their owners' quality of life.

Many mental health professionals strongly believe that animals can greatly benefit their patients. Labeled Emotional Support Animals, or ESAs, they can be any animal that does not require special training. The only requirement is for owners to have a mental or emotional health condition that can be verified by a licensed health professional.

  • The ESA letter legally qualifies the animal to live in apartments and homes that would otherwise not permit pets.
  • Landlords are required to allow ESAs as part of the Fair Housing Law with reasonable accommodations.

So, This guide will answer this question with the steps to take to get this letter. As you will soon discover, DoNotPay offers a much easier, three-step process that can generate a request for an ESA letter for your landlord.

What is an Emotional Support Animal?

An ESA is prescribed by a mental health professional for patients who are seeking a pet to give them comfort, companionship, and security to alleviate the symptoms of their illness. An example of this is an Armed Services Veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) who has a dog to help him through flare-ups so he can function in society.

Your next question is “How do ESA’s differ from service animals?”

ESAs vs. Service Animals
  • ESAs differ from service animals in that they are not trained to help disabled owners who have visual difficulties, seizure disorders, and other physical handicaps.
  • ESAs can only provide a source of comfort and security for the owner.
  • ESAs are not covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act and do not have the same rights as service dogs.
  • They are not allowed entry into stores, restaurants, and other venues that prohibit pets unless otherwise stated.

What is an ESA Letter?

The ESA letter is an official document written and signed by a licensed mental health professional that states the animal is necessary for the individual's emotional support as part of their treatment. The letter exempts the animal from the following restrictions:

  • Federal laws and housing regulations that prevent you from owning pets in a rental home.
  • Regulations stating you must pay extra to bring your animal into a rental home.
  • An important fact is that while ESAs used to be covered under the Air Carrier Access Act, they are now considered pets.
  • The airline can legally charge you and mandate the animal to ride in the cargo hold, unless it is small enough to fit under the seat in a pet travel case.

How to Ask for an ESA Letter by Yourself

Only a licensed healthcare professional can write an ESA letter. There are many websites that sell certificates, registrations, ID's, and licenses. However, NONE of these items will qualify your pet as an ESA and your request can be legally declined by your landlord.

Simply follow the steps given below to obtain an ESA letter.

  1. Ask yourself if and how an ESA would help your condition. To answer this, it may help to track your symptoms and then discuss them with your mental health provider.
  2. If you are not under treatment by a mental health professional, contact one to obtain a valid ESA letter. Note that a letter written by an online therapist is also legally recognized by the U.S. Department of Housing.
  3. Tell your mental health professional how an ESA could minimize your symptoms and improve your overall quality of life.
  4. Be prepared for any follow-up tests and questions so that your therapist can properly ascertain the need for the ESA. If they agree that an ESA would benefit you, they will issue you the letter.

How to Request an ESA Accommodation From a Landlord

To request that your landlord accommodate your ESA, you can submit a letter. Here is an example you can follow:

Dear [Landlord's Name],

In accordance with the Fair Housing Act, I am writing to request reasonable accommodation for my support animal, which will reside with me within my rental at [Rental Address].

I have a disability and, as such, require full-time assistance from this animal. I have attached a letter from my healthcare provider confirming my need for this form of assistance.

The animal in question is [include a brief description of your ESA].

If you wish to discuss this matter in more detail, you can reach me by phone at XXX-XXX-XXXX or email at [your email address].


[Your Name]


How DoNotPay Can Help You With an ESA Letter

Through their new Service and Emotional Support Animals product, DoNotPay can help you with your ESA-related letters, including contacting your landlord and asking your airline about ESA options. The process can also find the most affordable online ESA letter service.

Follow these steps on DoNotPay:

  1. Search "service animal" on DoNotPay.

  2. Select the type of issue you need help with, including contacting your landlord about your ESA/service animal, asking your airline about ESA options, or requesting ESA/service accommodations at other venues.

  3. Answer a series of questions about your current situation and the details of your ESA/service animal, so we can generate the best results for you.

Depending on your issue, DoNotPay will generate a letter and mail it on your behalf, or send a letter to your mental health professional requesting an ESA letter. DoNotPay makes it easy

DoNotPay can also help you request information about traveling with your ESA from the airlines, including United, Southwest, and American airlines.

More DoNotPay Products for Your Pets

What Else can DoNotPay do?

In addition to helping you with ESA matters and other pet-related issues, DoNotPay can also help you with situations including the following:

DoNotPay's revolutionary system can find you money and resolve many common administrative issues. Rather than dealing with vague instructions, DoNotPay cuts to the chase to get the job done faster and easier. Try it today!

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