J.S. from Palm Beach county, Florida writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I live in a condo that does not allow pets. I see several residents with dogs that they call an “emotional animal”. I would like to get an emotional animal for myself. Can I?
Mister Condo replies:
J.S., while many condominium associations do not allow pets, “emotional animals” are a different matter altogether. The more commonly accepted term is Emotional Support Animal (ESA, for short) and many people have them for a variety of reasons, most commonly because they provide emotional support for their owners. Ideally, a mental health professional would suggest or prescribe an ESA to combat loneliness, depression, anxiety or just good mental health. That is not a requirement but it puts you in a much better position with your condominium association should they push back against you having an ESA of your own. After all, you have lived at this condo for some time and never needed an ESA in the past. All owners have the right to have an ESA if needed. The association can limit size and type of animal and have some general rules about how to behave with the animal while on the association’s common grounds. There are many articles from Florida attorneys on the subject. Here is one you might wat to read to further your understanding of your rights. All the best!