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Bundren Law Firm P.C. Bundren Law Firm P.C.

Can an HOA Restrict Emotional Support Animals?

Serving Families Throughout Tulsa

When it comes to emotional support animals in Oklahoma, homeowners associations (HOAs) may not place restrictions on them. Although Oklahoma has no state laws protecting someone’s right to keep an emotional support animal in their home, the federal Fair Housing Act does.

Unless an occupant’s emotional support animal poses a direct threat to other individuals on the property or causes significant property damage, no HOA or landlord may restrict their ownership.

Do I Have to Register an Emotional Support Animal?

There are no formal means of registering an emotional support animal. That said, HOAs and landlords can require a homeowner or tenant to provide a letter from their doctor stating the occupant’s need for an emotional support animal.

There are various services one can find online to register or “license” an emotional support animal, but none of these essentially confer any more authority than a letter from one’s doctor.

Can HOAs Restrict an Emotional Support Animal’s Size or Breed?

No. Although animals of certain sizes, breeds, or even species may be associated with aggression, HOAs can’t simply place such restrictions unless the individual animal has demonstrated that it poses a direct threat to others or can cause significant property damage.

Can HOAs Charge Pet Rent for an Emotional Support Animal?

No. Emotional support animals aren’t considered pets – rather, they are companion animals that provide therapeutic support for people with disabilities.

Just as HOAs and landlords can’t charge someone to store their wheelchair or another tool that helps them with a disability, no additional charges may normally apply for emotional support animals.

Are Emotional Support Animal Owners Liable for Damages?

Yes. Although emotional support animals aren’t considered pets, their owners are just as liable for any injuries or property damage they may cause, unless the latter is caused by ordinary wear and tear.

What Can I Do If My HOA Demands I Remove My Emotional Support Animal?

Your HOA can’t deny your right to keep an emotional support animal. There are limited circumstances in which you may be asked to remove the animal, but these only apply when it has caused injury or property damage.

If you are facing legal conflict with your HOA over an emotional support animal, you need legal assistance to protect your rights. We at Bundren Law Firm P.C. can provide the support and guidance you need to move forward.

Learn more about how we can help during an initial consultation. Contact us online for more information.