My experience has been that the majority of the time, landlords understand the laws regarding fair access to housing, and the process goes through smoothly for you and your emotional support animal or psychiatric service animal. On rare occasions, however, a landlord may reject the accommodation request. If your emotional support animal letter is not accepted by your landlord or apartment complex, you have a variety of options to resolve the issue. First, ask the landlord if there is anything else that they need in order to accommodate your ESA request. If so, reach out to me to follow up on any extra steps I may need to complete to help facilitate the process. Sometimes landlords have certain forms they want signed by me as the Licensed Mental Health Provider (LMHP). Sometimes, they want to call and talk to me, or they may want an email confirmation that I am an LMHP and wrote the letter. A landlord may also use a third party verification system. Either way, reach back out to me as needed so that I can assist with the full process for your ESA or Service Animal needs.
If the landlord still does not accept your ESA or PSA request, ask them to send you something in writing stating the reason for rejection so that the issue can be resolved. Occasionally, I may need to write a second letter as a response to landlord when the request is not approved. I always keep in mind the parameters that landlords are limited to requesting in order to protect your Protected Health Information (PHI) based on HIPAA federal law. If a landlord asks for information that extends beyond the type of information that they are allowed to ask, I gently remind them of what health information I can and cannot share, and sometimes show documentation from HUD that outlines what should be included in an accommodation letter for an ESA or PSA.
If your landlord still rejects your accommodation request after multiple attempts to resolve the issue, the following are some Texas Tenant Resources from the Texas State Law Library. This resource may be able to provide legal advice that I may not be aware of. If you have exhausted your resources without success, can also file a complaint with HUD at the HUD Form 903 Online Complaint link.