Does your pet provide companionship while helping reduce your depression or anxiety? You are not alone. Seventy-four percent of pet owners believe their mental health improved after obtaining a pet.
Emotional support animals (ESAs) don't have any special training for performing tasks. This differentiates them from service dogs that undergo training to provide specific help to disabled persons.
If you have problems renting because you have an ESA, keep reading. We are going to share the laws regarding emotional support animals in Kentucky.
To obtain protection under federal law, emotional support animals must be for an individual with a federal disability. The person must present a note from their health professional stating they will benefit from an emotional support animal.
You need to begin the ESA registration process to obtain federal protection for your ESA.
Kentucky ESA Law
Owning a pet properly documented and certified as ESA protects your rights. Legitimate emotional support animals require verification from your medical provider or licensed mental health professional. Verification must be dated and include the physician's name, license number, state of licensure, and the health provider's signature.
Verification is valid for one year; you must renew annually. Without a renewal, your pet may no longer be allowed to live with you under special rental accommodations for an ESA.
There is no special training for ESAs, but avoid problems by ensuring the pet is housebroken, non-aggressive, and doesn't chew, dig, or cause other damage.
Kentucky ESA Rental Laws
Even if the apartment or condo you are renting from states no pets are allowed, the Fair Housing Act allows people to keep emotional support animals with proper certification. The federal act specifies that ESAs are not pets.
Landlords cannot discriminate against you for renting with a pet with ESA certification. They cannot exercise limits to prevent allowing your pet, including breed restrictions on ESAs. You must comply with community restrictions that apply to all animals.
ESA owners may encounter problems with HOA policies. Many incorporate a variety of fees into their guidelines. Their rules must comply with federal and state laws regarding emotional support animals.
Kentucky Rights and Restrictions Law
Because some people falsely claim pets are emotional support animals, Kentucky passed KRS 383.085. This includes a fine of up to $1,000 for misrepresentation of an assistance animal and the following:
- Landlords may require written documentation ESA needs
- Landlords may verify the document's authenticity
- Landlords cannot require ESA owners to pay pet fees, deposits, or additional rent for their ESA
- Tenants are responsible for damage their ESA causes
The law requires renters with ESA accommodations to comply with rental agreements, rules, and property regulations.
One of the best ways to ensure tenants and landlords comply is with a property manager. Professional management benefits include making sure tenant's rights and obligations are met. This keeps tenants happy and the landlord compliant,
Ensure Landlord Compliance for Support Animals
If you have concerns about compliance with support animals law, PMI Property Management can help. We have experienced property managers who ensure landlord's and tenant's rights and responsibilities are met.
Contact PMI Property Management to learn more about our services using our online form or call us today.