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Moving into an apartment with a no-pet policy may seem like a no-brainer if you don’t have any pets and plan to keep it that way. But what happens when circumstances leave you, the tenant, in need of a service animal?
Under the Fair Housing Act, you’re protected – and the Department of Housing and Urban Development will step in to make sure of it. Yesterday, HUD issued a press release announcing it has charged a New York co-op and two of its employees with discrimination after they denied a disabled man his request for reasonable accommodation. Though he provided letters from both his doctor and the state’s department of Health and Mental Hygiene to verify a service animal was indeed necessary, the co-op denied the man’s request, stopped accepting rent payments, and even tried to evict him. Now, a judge may order the co-op to pay damages if a hearing determines discrimination took place.
Remember: The Fair Housing Act is in place to protect tenants from discrimination. Property owners must make reasonable accommodations so that anyone with a disability enjoys the equal chance to live comfortably. HUD’s enforcement of the Fair Housing Act is part of our broader mission to promote inclusive communities free from prejudice. Read the full press release here.