November 5, 2021

What’s the big deal with “ESA Scams”?

Daniel Jakubisin

An ongoing battle

In the last few weeks we had quite a handful of people reach out to us on our website regarding an archived post on ESA - from about a year ago! The post was just some basic orientation on Emotional Support Animals for landlords and property managers. What triggered the outreach on a year old blog seemed to be recent legislation in California.

The battle – to put it in starkest terms, is between tenants – whose mental health rights are being violated by landlords – on one side and landlords – whose properties (investments) are being destroyed by untrained and illegal pets – on the other.

Of course, caught in the middle, there are many law-abiding renters with the helpful, well-behaved, trained and certified Emotional Support Animals as well as generous and understanding property managers and landlords who actually want to support someone going through a rough time.

Case in point: one of the landlords who reached out to us. This particular real estate investor has a multi-family in NYS and already has certified ESAs in the building. However a new tenant submitted an ESA registration which did not meet the criteria laid out by HUD. The landlord wanted to support this young student whose father died in a tragic skiing accident the year before, even while maintaining proper precedents for building management.

The role of Social Real Estate in all of this

I think this is a perfect example of why Social Real Estate matters. Here – in a multi-unit building – this landlord has the space to step back and think about the individual person and her needs in the midst of the paperwork bureaucracy battles. It wasn’t part of the registration – it’s not up to the tenant to disclose the specifics of the need for an ESA – but because there was a positive landlord-tenant relationship, the landlord knew of the skiing accident and had the ability to apply additional perspective and delicacy to what was probably already a difficult situation for the tenant.

Contrast this with the paperwork bureaucracy battles already mentioned. At the various levels of government across the country, officials are playing the ongoing game of whack-a-mole – first more legislation protecting the rights of tenants and then more legislation protecting the rights of landlords and on and on.

This is not to say that more or less regulation is bad – actually, clearly defined rights are helpful for both parties - but simply to point out that at the core of any actual solution with ESAs or otherwise is relationship! This is prime-time for the individual investors who are able to maintain real positive interactions with those who rent from them.

Embrace the positive

Our tools are designed to help maintain those positive relationships – imagine the case where the platform did the work of the “bad guy” – sending automatic reminders to that one roommate who is always late with his rent. Or, on behalf of the tenant, sending those reminders to the landlord to not forget about the urgent maintenance request. This opens the door for more positive interactions where they can remember that each other is a person first, who life has brought together for mutual benefit, not just mutual recipients of a cold exchange.

This is the beauty of Social Real Estate – which builds the community of trust so critical for business while enabling enough space to focus on what really matters.

Post Summary

We look at how Social Real Estate positively impacts the landlord-tenant relationship through the lens of those tenants that require an ESA

This article was written, edited and published by members or collaborators of the Doorward Team. Doorward Inc. maintains a positive outlook on the inherent dignity of each: their singular ability to reason and create, to choose and likewise be responsible for their decisions. We defend their best intentions and affirm each person’s freedom to express their own thoughts and opinions and experiences, and to engage in civil discussion regarding them.

This article is meant to be thought-provoking, and is not intended to be specific direction for the topic of this post. Please do your own research and consult the appropriate people for guidance before making a decision related to the topic of this post.

An ongoing battle

In the last few weeks we had quite a handful of people reach out to us on our website regarding an archived post on ESA - from about a year ago! The post was just some basic orientation on Emotional Support Animals for landlords and property managers. What triggered the outreach on a year old blog seemed to be recent legislation in California.

The battle – to put it in starkest terms, is between tenants – whose mental health rights are being violated by landlords – on one side and landlords – whose properties (investments) are being destroyed by untrained and illegal pets – on the other.

Of course, caught in the middle, there are many law-abiding renters with the helpful, well-behaved, trained and certified Emotional Support Animals as well as generous and understanding property managers and landlords who actually want to support someone going through a rough time.

Case in point: one of the landlords who reached out to us. This particular real estate investor has a multi-family in NYS and already has certified ESAs in the building. However a new tenant submitted an ESA registration which did not meet the criteria laid out by HUD. The landlord wanted to support this young student whose father died in a tragic skiing accident the year before, even while maintaining proper precedents for building management.

The role of Social Real Estate in all of this

I think this is a perfect example of why Social Real Estate matters. Here – in a multi-unit building – this landlord has the space to step back and think about the individual person and her needs in the midst of the paperwork bureaucracy battles. It wasn’t part of the registration – it’s not up to the tenant to disclose the specifics of the need for an ESA – but because there was a positive landlord-tenant relationship, the landlord knew of the skiing accident and had the ability to apply additional perspective and delicacy to what was probably already a difficult situation for the tenant.

Contrast this with the paperwork bureaucracy battles already mentioned. At the various levels of government across the country, officials are playing the ongoing game of whack-a-mole – first more legislation protecting the rights of tenants and then more legislation protecting the rights of landlords and on and on.

This is not to say that more or less regulation is bad – actually, clearly defined rights are helpful for both parties - but simply to point out that at the core of any actual solution with ESAs or otherwise is relationship! This is prime-time for the individual investors who are able to maintain real positive interactions with those who rent from them.

Embrace the positive

Our tools are designed to help maintain those positive relationships – imagine the case where the platform did the work of the “bad guy” – sending automatic reminders to that one roommate who is always late with his rent. Or, on behalf of the tenant, sending those reminders to the landlord to not forget about the urgent maintenance request. This opens the door for more positive interactions where they can remember that each other is a person first, who life has brought together for mutual benefit, not just mutual recipients of a cold exchange.

This is the beauty of Social Real Estate – which builds the community of trust so critical for business while enabling enough space to focus on what really matters.

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