I am a landlord. I allow my tenants to have pets, but they must pay an extra, nonrefundable, one-time cleaning fee of $250 when they move in, and I charge an extra $50 a month. This is because pets cause me extra expenses. My insurance costs are higher because of the risk of a dog biting someone. It costs more to clean a home after animals have lived there, and that doesn’t mention the added risks of damage to the property.
I cannot do that any longer. The reason for that is because of people like my sister. My sister has gone online and gotten her pet certified as an emotional support animal. It costs $129 online to get a letter from a licensed therapist, certifying that you are disabled and have a disability requiring that landlords let you keep your pet, and preventing them from charging you extra. (I was going to provide a link, but I decided not to drive business their way)
Last year, Florida passed a law allowing landlords to demand a letter from a licensed healthcare provider, and requiring the provider to have seen the tenant in person at least once. I could do that, but it entails a lot of risk on my part- you see, the law is a minefield. Play it wrong, use the wrong wording, and you get sued under the Fair Housing Act.
So instead, I will simply price that risk into everyone’s lease. I will charge more for a security deposit for everyone. I will charge more in rent for everyone.
A few scammers make it more expensive for everyone.