Florida's New Emotional Support Animal Law
Disclaimer: This information is being provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. SWFAA members are encouraged to contact their legal counsel regarding any landlord/tenant law matters.
Florida’s New Emotional Support Animal Law (SB 1084)
During the 2020 Legislative Session, SWFAA and FAA encouraged the Florida legislature to pass HB 209/SB 1084 to require emotional support animal (ESA) accommodation documentation to be completed by a licensed provider who is acting within their scope of practice to assess an individual’s disability related need for an ESA.
As you may know, SB 1084 was passed by both chambers unanimously earlier this year and was presented to the Governor for signature. SWFAA is pleased to report that Governor DeSantis signed SB 1084 into law on June 23 and it goes into effect on July 1.
For more information regarding this new law and how it impacts your business, please click here to read the Florida Apartment Association's FAQ. In addition, SWFAA encourages members to click here to send Governor DeSantis a thank you note via email for signing this FAA priority bill into law.
Allows housing providers to prohibit the animal if it poses a direct threat to the safety, health, or property of others.
Reliable information regarding the need for an ESA may be provided by a federal, state, or local government agency, specified health care practitioners, tele-health providers, or out-of-state practitioners who have provided in-person care or services to the tenant on at least one occasion.
If a person requests more than one ESA, the housing provider may request information regarding the need for each animal.
The bill creates a new cause for disciplinary action against a practitioner for providing supporting information for an ESA, without personal knowledge of the patient’s disability or disability-related need. It also creates the misdemeanor crime of providing a false or fraudulent emotional support animal.