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emotional support animals come home to roost: WWYD?

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  • #46




    I appreciate the opinions. Understand where you all are coming from but think you need to read the law before weighing in. What you are proposing seems to me blatantly illegal. Definitely will ask for references as standard part of background check, and letter from doctor or therapist as required under law for ESA or service animal, but not permissible to ask about nature of disability or job dog is trained to perform.
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    I'm a little confused.  In the original post you asked "what would you do."  People tell you what they would do and you don't like the answers.  You know what the choices are.  rent to them, find an excuse to not rent to them, or sell the house.

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    • #47
      Does the law state what constitutes a valid letter?

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      • #48
        I'm with FIREshrink on this one based on my reading of the law.

        Surprised that some of you would recommend that a physician with ample retirement savings and deep pockets risk a lawsuit for a $1695 rental.  That can easily be exchanged for another property, REIT, or crowdfunded investment.  If he does what you guys recommend, it's 98%+ likely nothing happens and the entitled ESA owners move on to the next property.  But if they find an ambitious enough lawyer and a crazy enough judge, he wouldn't be the first landlord to lose his shirt.  I assume I understand the legal system as well as most lawyers understand clinical medicine.  Regardless of how stupid the law is, it seems like an absurd risk to take.

        Edit:  to be clear, I would sell unless the background check turns up something he can stand behind in court.  Or if he really wants to keep the SFH, talk to a lawyer first.

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        • #49
          I am also a landlord.  I have been burned several times from waring a doctor hat instead of landlord hat.  However, I would not sell my property based on your current problem.  Real estate does not only provide good incomes, it also provides a good hedge in your asset allocation.  Do not give it away easily.

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          • #50
            I have nothing substantive to add, but I would like to say that threads that have “emotional support animal” in the title are my favorites on the forum.

            Carry on...

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            • #51
              If you do not have a way out, I would let them in and have our manager check the place periodically.  They will have to pay for the damages or get out.  I could not imagine that any dog can do more damage to your place than my crazy tenants did to my property.

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              • #52


                If I had another applicant I could choose another for another reason, but not this reason.
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                You have your answer right here.  I'm not at all suggesting violating the law.  I'm simply suggesting that you find an alternative or multiple alternatives.  Have you or your property manager set some deadline for applications?  Have a policy that first qualified gets the rental?  If not then you have your alternative to being "forced" to sell.

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                • #53
                  Get more applicants. I dont get how you have to rent to someone just because they applied and are the only one right now. Just dont at all return or acknowledge their application, you dont have to say why. If you say why, thats your fault.

                  Dont get why you cant charge an animal fee though, they still damage the property.

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                  • #54
                    There are plenty of google hits in opposition of this issue particularly the housing carve out but I have to wonder why no organized initiative to have the regulations reviewed and hopefully amended. As per last time I posted on this topic, before I get put on blast, I am not referring to actual trained service animals.

                    As for the letters:

                    https://esadoctors.com/

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                    • #55
                      Per the above website:

                      “*In the case that you are not approved, ESA Doctors will refund 100% of your payment.”

                      I wonder how often they have to refund the payment.

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                      • #56




                        There are plenty of google hits in opposition of this issue particularly the housing carve out but I have to wonder why no organized initiative to have the regulations reviewed and hopefully amended. As per last time I posted on this topic, before I get put on blast, I am not referring to actual trained service animals.

                        As for the letters:

                        https://esadoctors.com/
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                        This is a gold mind.  Check out the pricing.  Where do i sign up.  I am changing careers!


                        Dont get why you cant charge an animal fee though, they still damage the property.
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                        This is the main reason people want the letters.  Usually their housing allows pets but charges a fee.  The letter gets them out of the fee.  Same with air travel.    But looking at what these letters cost at the website above I can understand why people try to get it out of me for "free"  (No cost to them)

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                        • #57
                          It's a bummer that crazy (I'm talking people with peacocks for ESAs) is becoming a protected class in the US. People will push and push until they're met with some resistance. I wish our government would grow some spine and put a stop to it.

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                          • #58
                            “Crazy” is a protected class. Less euphemistically, you are not allowed to discriminate against members of a protected class, including people with physical or mental disabilities. That said, if you are on the depressive part of your bipolar cycle and off your meds and don’t feel like getting out of bed, you still need to send the rent check in full by the 1st of the month. Whatever baggage you might have, you still need to be functional. You need to keep your pyromania in check and not burn down the rental.

                            Do you want to put grab bars in the shower at your own expense? Sure, just make sure it’s done in a workmanlike manner. Want the stairway rebuilt at a different pitch or an elevator installed at the landlord’s expense? You must be kidding me. There are plenty of one story apartments in buildings with functional elevators. $50-100K in retrofits at owner’s expense is not a reasonable accommodation.

                            Don’t discriminate against things people can’t change. However, there’s no reason to rent to people who lie on their application about being sex offenders or other felons, about recent bankruptcies or evictions. If your references won’t say a single positive thing about you, then in fact they’ve said plenty.

                            Am I less likely to get a long term tenant when I rent to a military member or diplomat who will get orders to another duty station? Sure, but they also are doing important work and they need a place to live.

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                            • #59
                              Vegas is a different story. I wonder if WCICON20 has made arrangements for ESA companions. I’m sure the hotels can provide assistance.

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                              • #60




                                Vegas is a different story. I wonder if WCICON20 has made arrangements for ESA companions. I’m sure the hotels can provide assistance.
                                Click to expand...


                                The reptiles?
                                Our passion is protecting clients and others from predatory and ignorant advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

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