ANIMALS AND SOME NEW FLORIDA LAWS
Eric Glazer, Esq.
Published August 31, 2020
New Florida Statute 760.27 defines
ďEmotional support animalĒ as an animal that does not require
training to do work, perform tasks, provide assistance, or
provide therapeutic emotional support by virtue of its presence
which alleviates one or more identified symptoms or effects of a
SoÖÖ..yet another owner or renter
wants an emotional support animal. What must they prove?
Letís see what the new Florida Statute 760.27 says:
A disability "a physical or mental impairment which
substantially limits one or more of such person's major life
activities such as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks,
walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and
That the pet alleviates the disability and is necessary to now
use and enjoy the dwelling.
Can the Association Ever Deny The Request?
Unless otherwise prohibited by federal
law, rule, or regulation, a housing provider may:
(a)Deny a reasonable accommodation request for an emotional support
animal if such animal poses a direct threat to the safety or
health of others or poses a direct threat of physical damage to
the property of others, which threat cannot be reduced or
eliminated by another reasonable accommodation
Can The Association Ask For Medical Records?
Notwithstanding the authority to
request information, the association may not request information
that discloses the diagnosis or severity of a personís
disability or any medical records relating to the disability.
However, a person may disclose such information or medical
records to the association at his or her discretion.
Suppose the Disability is Not Apparent?
a personís disability is not
readily apparent, the association can request reliable
information that reasonably supports that the person has a
disability. Supporting information may include:
1. A determination of disability from
any federal, state, or local government agency.
2. Receipt of disability benefits or
services from any federal, state, or local government agency.
3. Proof of eligibility for housing
assistance or a housing voucher received because of a
4. Information from a health care
practitioner, a telehealth provider, or any other similarly
licensed or certified practitioner or provider in good standing
with his or her professionís regulatory body in another state
but only if such out-of-state practitioner has provided
in-person care or services to the tenant on at least one
occasion. Such information is reliable if the practitioner or
provider has personal knowledge of the personís disability and
is acting within the scope of his or her practice to provide the
5. Information from any other source
that the housing provider reasonably determines to be reliable.
Can a person Have More Than One Emotional Support Animal?
If a person requests to keep more than
one emotional support animal, the association may request
information regarding the specific need for each animal.
Can The Association Require Proof That The Animal Is Properly
The Association may require proof of
compliance with state and local requirements for licensing and
vaccinating each emotional support animal.
Are There Limitations On What An Association May Ask Someone Who
Wants An Emotional Support Animal?
A housing provider may develop and
make available to persons a routine method for receiving and
processing reasonable accommodation requests for emotional
support animals; however, a housing provider may not require
the use of a specific form or notarized statement, or deny a
request solely because a person did not follow the housing
providerís routine method.
What about these websites that offer to classify your animal as
an emotional support animal for a fee?
An emotional support animal
registration of any kind, including, but not limited to, an
identification card, patch, certificate, or similar registration
obtained from the Internet is not, by itself, sufficient
information to reliably establish that a person has a disability
or a disability-related need for an emotional support animal.
A DOCTOR CAN NOW BE DISCIPLINED FOR:
Providing information, including
written documentation, indicating that a person has a disability
or supporting a personís need for an emotional support animal
without personal knowledge of the personís disability or
disability-related need for the specific emotional support
AND SO CAN THE PATIENT:
817.265 A person who falsifies
information or written documentation, or knowingly provides
fraudulent information or written documentation, for an
emotional support animal or otherwise knowingly and willfully
misrepresents himself or herself, through his or her conduct or
through a verbal or written notice, as having a disability or
disability-related need for an emotional support animal or being
otherwise qualified to use an emotional support animal, commits
a misdemeanor of the second degree. In addition, within 6 months
after a conviction under this section, a person must perform 30
hours of community service for an organization that serves
persons with disabilities or for another entity or organization
that the court determines is appropriate.
What if The Animal Damages Association Property?
(4) LIABILITY.ó A person with a
disability or a disability-related need is liable for any damage
done to the premises or to another person on the premises by his
or her emotional support animal.