Last month the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) approved a settlement agreement concluding an assistance animal Fair Housing Act (FHA) discrimination case from Nevada.
An applicant submitted a reasonable accommodation request (that was appropriately medically verified, according to HUD) to keep an assistance animal due to her disability.
As reported in the complaint, the leasing agent told the applicant that the owner did not allow pets because the floors had recently been upgraded to hardwood. After being told animals were not allowed, the applicant did not further attempt to lease the unit.
As reported here many times, however, professional apartment management typically must waive “no pet” rules when residents and/or applicants make reasonable accommodation requests that are appropriately medically verified.
The terms of the settlement involved a $6,000 payment to the applicant, a requirement for fair housing training, as well as the adoption of reasonable accommodation policies to ensure any future requests are appropriately (and timely) responded to.
We get a number of requests for help under this law. Most landlords know the law and since it is federal law, it is nationwide.