Tampa Bay, Fl
Author: In Search of Robin, So You Want to Blog.
On June 24, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill 1084 into law, prohibiting housing discrimination for people with a disability-related need for an emotional support animal (ESA).
In the ongoing battle between CONDO Associations /HOAs and residents with emotional support animals(ESAs) and service animals, this new law should crank up a number of disputes and legal actions.
Here is a link to the Senate Bill text. If you currently have an emotional support animal, you should familiarize yourself with the new statute.
For some insight check out this article from ESA Doctors: Florida Passes New 2020 Law for Emotional Support Animals: What Every ESA Owner Needs to Know.
There are a number of law firms and property management companies trying to get the word out on this new law, so if you are an HOA or Condo Association Board Member or officer it would be a good idea to get some formal training on what the new statute allows and does not allow before taking any action.
This new rule pertains only to Emotional Support Animals, and if you have or need a Service Animal be sure you know the difference and your rights should the HOA or Condo Association come knocking, or you are refused access to rental accommodations.
Undoubtedly, some of the HOA and Condo Association “enforcers” will be banging on the Board’s doors demanding that the little Rat Terrier down the hall be tossed out on his or her tail but there is a bit more to it than that.
HOAs and Condo Associations can ask for documentation supporting the need for an ESA, but not detailed medical information, and there is no clear indication of how much of that information they may share with a complaining resident.
This new statute is not a nuclear solution to the ESA issue, but you can look for each side to stretch the statute to its limits. And, as in most HOA/Condo law the only people likely to benefit are the lawyers who file the lawsuits.
SB 1084, now Florida Statutes section 760.27, became effective July 1, 2020.