In a recent announcement, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) ordered Nolo Contendere, LLC, a Syracuse, NY-based apartment complex, to pay $15,000 resolving allegations they refused to allow a woman with mental disabilities keep an assistance animal.
The owners must also undergo fair housing training, and create a reasonable accommodation policy that allows residents with disabilities to keep assistance animals, including emotional support animals.
Said Anna María Farías, HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, “people who rely on assistance animals to maintain their independence shouldn’t have their right to housing accommodations unlawfully denied. HUD will continue to ensure housing providers understand their rights and responsibilities under the law and take steps to meet those obligations.”
Denying reasonable accommodations with regards to pet policies
Consent orders like this are all-too-routinely issued and highlight the importance of landlords following the Fair Housing Act and making reasonable accommodations to their pet policies for tenants with disabilities.
The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing providers from denying or limiting housing to persons with disabilities and from refusing to make reasonable accommodations in policies or practices, which includes denying service animal requests.
The case came to HUD’s attention when a woman with mental disabilities filed a complaint alleging the property owners refused to allow her to keep an assistance animal. The landlords refused to make an exception to their “no-pets” policy, even after the woman provided documentation attesting to her disabilities. Additionally, the landlords allegedly initiated a retaliatory eviction action against the tenant after she made the accommodation request, in violation of the Fair Housing Act.
Did your landlord deny your assistance animal?
Did your apartment deny your emotional support animal? Are you thinking of filing a complaint with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)?
Do you know even where to start? Should you even start? Do you have any idea where to go from here?
Believe you’re a victim of ESA housing discrimination?
Are you confused, wondering how to deal with this situation? Are you hoping, with just the right “motivation,” your landlord may be willing to agree to your accommodation request?
Our ESA Housing Discrimination Complaint Builder
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Fortunately, our Complaint Builder service helps fill in this gap.
The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, and familial status.
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