Community associations in Florida contending with fraudulent emotional support animal (ESA) requests may get some relief. Governor DeSantis signed SB 1084 into law on June 23, 2020. The new law prohibits discrimination from housing providers to someone requiring an ESA, but also prohibits health care practitioners from providing information regarding a person’s need for an emotional support animal without having personal knowledge of the person’s need for the animal.
The law, which becomes effective on July 1, 2020, requires a patient to establish the need for an ESA by delivering to the housing provider supporting information from a licensed healthcare practitioner who has provided in-person care or services to the patient on at least one occasion for the need for each animal. Housing providers may establish a routine method for receiving and processing ESA requests. However, they cannot require the use of any specific forms, deny a request solely because the resident did not follow their methods, or request information that discloses the diagnosis or severity of the resident’s disability.
The law also makes the individual requiring the ESA liable for any damages done to the premises by the ESA. Finally, a person who falsifies information or written documentation as having a disability requiring the need for an ESA commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable by law.
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