Gray house on a sunny day


You are not allowed to deny housing, in New Hampshire, to anybody with a disability that requires the use of a service dog or an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) unless these accommodations are completely unreasonable. If someone is trying to pass off a dog as a fake service dog, as a landlord you should always be asking the two questions you can legally ask to determine wether or no it’s a service dog. According to the ADA you can ask “(1) Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability? (2) What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?”

If they are an Emotional Assistance Animal, ask for paperwork. Service dogs are not required to have documentation and you are not legally allowed to ask for it, but ESA’s are. To make sure it’s a legitimate ESA, it should be written on a psychiatrist’s official letterhead and include their license number and practice address.It is important to note that the animal may be excluded, but not the person.

Only a dog can be a service dog, but any breed. ESA’s can be any animal, not just dogs, and do not have to be trained, therefore they are not afforded as many protections under the ADA as service dogs. The Fair Housing Act is what defines what a landlord can and can’t do and what accommodations they need to provide. You are not allowed to limit the breed of any animal the tenant might have for a service dog or ESA and must still accommodate that person.

You are not allowed to charge pet fees for either a service dog or ESA, and you may not charge a security deposit or other additional charges for this reason, however, you are not responsible for any damages the animal may incur. If there are any issues with damages to a person (like if the dog bites someone) the owner of the dog is liable for this, not the landlord.