What is a Companion Animal?
An Essential Property Management Term
Companion Animals vs. Emotional Support Animals (ESAs)In terms of the rental industry, the phrase “companion animal” is often used interchangeably with “emotional support animal.” However, companion animals are more closely synonymous with pets, and they’re not granted special protections or permissions. If your potential tenant mentions that they have a companion animal, ask follow-up questions like:
- What kind of pet is it?
- Is it a certified companion animal?
- Can I see the certificate?
- The signature of a medical professional, social worker, peer support group, or another reliable party
- A statement indicating how long the tenant has been a patient/group member
- An explanation of why the ESA is necessary
Can I Charge Pet Rent for Companion Animals?If your four-legged tenant is not a service animal or ESA, you can charge pet rent, pet fees, or a pet deposit. Look up your local landlord-tenant laws to craft your charges, fees, and rent without risking your legal compliance.
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