Las Vegas Landlord Settles Claims of Disability Discrimination

HUD recently announced that it has approved a Conciliation Agreement with a Las Vegas landlord and his property manager to resolve allegations of discrimination brought by a prospective tenant with a disability. The prospect had filed a fair housing complaint alleging that she was denied the opportunity to rent a house because she had a dog who served as her assistance animal. She claimed that after the lease was signed, the owner and manager learned that she had an assistance animal and refused to rent the house to her because of the dog.

Under the agreement, the owner will pay $6,500 to the prospective tenant, and both the owner and property manager will attend fair housing training and comply with fair housing requirements for reasonable accommodations.

The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing providers from discriminating against persons with disabilities, including refusing to make reasonable accommodations in policies or practices when such accommodations may be necessary to provide them an equal opportunity to use or enjoy a dwelling. Housing providers may not prohibit people with disabilities from having assistance animals that perform work or tasks or that provide disability-related emotional support.

“Not only is it cruel to deny a person with disabilities access to housing because they have a service animal, but it is also against the law,” said Demetria L. McCain, HUD’s Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “This settlement demonstrates HUD’s commitment to protecting the housing rights of persons with disabilities and ensuring they have the support they need to live in the housing of their choice.”