New York, NY asked in Animal / Dog Law and Landlord - Tenant for Massachusetts

Q: My lease reads no dogs. My tenant told me after the lease was signed on September-1-2023 she has a ESA dog for emotional

and stress. Can I do anything about this now. The tenant told me I could not. She Lied on the lease.

1 Lawyer Answer

A: It is illegal under federal law to discriminate in providing housing to any disabled person because they have an emotional support animal. You can request appropriate medical documentation from the disabled tenant confirming that they are actually disabled and that they require the services of an emotional support animal.

Many people with pets get "emotional support animal" certificates online for a fee which do not satisfy the requirement of appropriate medical documentation.

I recommend that you request appropriate written medical documentation that the tenant is disabled and requires the services of an emotional support animal as a result of their disability. Take whatever the tenant provides to you to an attorney with experience with the American with Disabilities Act and Fair Housing Act in or near the county where the premises are located to determine whether it satisfies what s required.

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