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Q: My tenant has a support dog, so I would like to know what forms to use for a dog that is an emotional support animal.

A: In Minnesota, landlords typically have to make a reasonable accommodation and allow their tenants to have emotional support animals (ESAs) under the Americans With Disabilities Act and Fair Housing Act, unless the building has four or fewer units and the landlord is living in one of them; or if they are renting out a single-family home that was rented or sold without an agent and the owner doesn't own more than three houses; or if the building is a private club.

If these conditions do not apply, then a landlord must consider a tenant's need to have an emotional support animal. A no-pet policy in a rental building does not apply to service and emotional support animals because they are not considered pets.

An emotional support animal, such as a dog, is different from a service animal because service animals must meet specific certifications and are specially trained to perform specific tasks for a person with a disability, like guiding a person with visual impairment or detecting seizures. An emotional support animal does not have to be certified, registered or have specific training relating to a disability, and is chosen as a companion to people who have a psychological or emotional disability.

There is no form or application required by a landlord or tenant to use for an emotional support animal since most landlords know the law and will allow it. However, a landlord may require a written letter from a licensed mental health professional like a physician, psychiatrist or social worker indicating the tenant will benefit from having an emotional support animal.

As a landlord, you don't have the right to inquire about your tenant's emotional or psychological disability, but you can require written proof, like a letter from a tenant's licensed mental health professional stating the tenant needs the emotional support animal for their well-being.

The majority of landlords don't ask for written proof from a licensed mental health professional and there is no state law that requires it, but it may stop tenants from saying they need an emotional support animal when they really just want a pet. Landlords cannot charge extra pet rent, fees or a security deposit for any tenant's emotional support dog like they are allowed to do for a regular pet, but you can charge a tenant at the end of the lease for any damage that their emotional support animal may have caused to the rental unit or could possibly charge the tenant for any damages not covered by the security deposit.

Kelly Klein is a Minneapolis attorney. Participation in this column does not create an attorney/client relationship with Klein. Do not rely on advice in this column for legal opinions. Consult an attorney regarding your particular issues. E-mail renting questions to Information provided by readers is not confidential.