Landlords in Raleigh Need To Know These Important Facts About Emotional Support Animals

Landlords in Raleigh Need To Know These Important Facts About Emotional Support Animals

As a landlord, there are a variety of laws, including federal, state, and local laws, that you need to be aware of. For instance, while it's the right of the property owner to choose not to allow pets, residents are permitted to have service dogs, regardless of the property's rules.

But what about an emotional support animal?

Landlords need to make sure that they understand the differences between different types of support animals, and what the law says about each. If you're a landlord in Raleigh, keep reading to learn about the laws and facts surrounding emotional support animals.

What is an Emotional Support Animal?

According to the support animal definition, a support animal is any kind of animal that provides emotional support to a human owner. While dogs are a popular choice for emotional support animals, any species can technically be support animals. This includes birds, pigs, horses, cats, and more.

Are Emotional Support Animals Considered Service Animals?

Emotional support animals and service animals do share some similarities. Both provide some sort of service to their human owners. However, they differ in a variety of ways as well.

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act or ADA, emotional support animals are not considered service animals. Unlike service animals, advanced training is not required for an animal to become a support animal. They don't need to fulfill a specific purpose for their owner; instead, the purpose is more fluid, providing comfort with their presence in a variety of types of situations.

For this reason, these animals and their human owners do not have the same legal protections as those with service animals. 

Do Landlords Have to Allow Emotional Support Animals?

Laws about support animal regulations vary from one state to the next. But in North Carolina, landlords are not required to provide special accommodations or make exceptions to building rules for emotional support animals.

In Raleigh, emotional support animals are considered pets rather than service animals. So a property that does not allow pets can choose to not allow an emotional support animal in their units.

Can You Charge a Pet Fee for an Emotional Support Animal?

With no legal protections or regulations in place for emotional support animals, landlords can treat these animals as they would any other pet. This means having the ability to charge a pet fee. This fee should be outlined in your rental lease agreement.

While emotional support dogs or cats may be welcomed in properties that do already allow pets, other types of support animals may be a different story. For instance, landlords can refuse to allow pigs, birds, or other types of support animals in their units.

Housing Emotional Support Animals in Raleigh

Landlords in Raleigh, North Carolina are not required by law to allow an emotional support animal in one of their units. If you do allow pets, you can still charge a pet fee, even if the pet is an emotional support animal.

Have more questions about the laws landlords need to know? Hiring a property management company can help. They understand the laws, and can help you understand how they apply to you and your property. Check out this article next to learn more about the benefits of hiring a property management company.

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