Why More Texas Landlords Are Allowing Tenants To Have Support Animals

Why More Texas Landlords Are Allowing Tenants To Have Support Animals

Are you against having pets on your rental property? This article may change your mind.

Texas landlords must follow federal laws that state that they can't discriminate against groups of people, including those with disabilities. This means that landlords cannot deny tenants with emotional support animals.

What exactly does this mean for your investment? Keep reading to find out.

What Are Emotional Support Animals?

Texas landlords are allowing tenants to have emotional support animals as needed. In fact, it's a federal law to allow support animals and service animals on your property.

An emotional support animal (ESA) is assigned to one person who needs accompanying in social and public areas. An ESA can help those with mental health issues, but they are more like pets than service animals.

In contrast, a service animal is trained to perform a specific task for someone with a disability.

Laws on ESAs in Texas

To improve tenant satisfaction, you may allow pets on your property for an additional fee. However, you cannot charge pet fees for tenants with ESAs. That's the law.

The Fair Housing Act (FHA) is a federal law offering reasonable accommodations to tenants with disabilities and mental health problems. A Texas landlord has to abide by this law, allowing emotional support animals if:

  • A medical professional says an ESA is necessary
  • The request for an ESA doesn't lead to hardship for other tenants

You can request an emotional support animal letter if the need for an ESA is not obvious.

Even if you have a no-pet policy, you must rent to those with ESAs that meet the criteria. You can't turn away an ESA because of any breed or weight restriction you have implemented.

Keeping ESA Owners Accountable

There are benefits to allowing renters to have emotional support animals. First, it keeps you compliant with federal law. Second, you can still protect your rental property without charging a pet security deposit.

If an ESA damages the property or injures another tenant, the owner of the animal will be liable for paying for the damages. Tenants, whether pet owners or not, are not responsible for paying for general wear and tear.

A property manager can help you keep ESA owners accountable. Additionally, they can help collect pet rent from tenants who don't have ESAs or service animals. This way, your investment is protected across the board.

Improve Tenant Satisfaction With Our Help

Allowing emotional support animals on your rental property helps you comply with federal laws and improves tenant satisfaction.

Being an accommodating Texas landlord has its perks. You may be able to increase lease renewals and save money on finding new tenants.

Let our property management team move you in the right direction. Blue Ribbon Property Management pledges to offer the best-in-class customer service with real-time communication and new technology.

We offer ongoing investment education to ensure your property is as successful as it can be. We're in it for the long haul. Contact us today to start maximizing your investment.