Nevada Community Settles Fair Housing Dispute Over Pet Deposits

HUD recently announced that the owners and manager of four Nevada rental communities have agreed to settle allegations of housing discrimination against prospective tenants with disabilities who require assistance animals.

Federal fair housing law prohibits housing providers from denying housing to people with disabilities or imposing different rental terms and conditions. This includes refusing to make reasonable accommodations in policies or practices for people with disabilities.

The case came to HUD’s attention when a fair housing organization filed the complaints, accusing the communities of discrimination against prospective tenants who required assistance animals by requiring applicants who required support animals to pay a pet deposit fee.

Under the agreement, the community will pay a $20,500 settlement to the fair housing organization, adopt written policies consistent with fair housing law, and provide fair housing training for all employees who interact with residents or applicants.

“Residents who require assistance animals shouldn’t have their housing rights denied to them,” Bryan Greene, HUD General Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, said in a statement. “HUD will continue working to ensure that landlords meet their obligation to comply with the Fair Housing Act’s requirements.”

Disability is the most common basis of fair housing complaint filed with HUD and its partner agencies. Last year alone, HUD and its partners considered over 4,900 disability-related complaints, or more than 58 percent of all fair housing complaints that were filed.