Calif. Community Accused of Threatening Eviction Because of Resident’s Dog
The owner and manager of a California community recently agreed to pay $8,500 to resolve claims that they threatened a resident with a disability with eviction because she had an emotional support animal.
Fair housing law requires housing providers to make reasonable accommodations in their rules, policies, practices, and services when needed to provide persons with disabilities an equal opportunity to use or enjoy a dwelling. This includes waiving "no-pets" policies for persons with disabilities.
The settlement resolves the resident’s HUD complaint alleging that the property manager told her that she could not keep her dog and threatened to evict her, even though she provided medical documentation of her need for the support animal. The resident alleged that after receiving an eviction notice, she moved out of her home. The housing providers denied that they discriminated against the resident.
Under the settlement, the owners agreed to pay $8,500 to the resident and provide fair housing training to its management and leasing staff.
"Emotional support animals are essential to the ability of individuals with disabilities to function on a daily basis. They are not pets," Anna María Farías, HUD's Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, said in a statement. "This agreement highlights the importance of housing providers granting the reasonable accommodations they are required to provide under the law."