Oklahoma Landlords Charged with Discriminating Against Disabled Veteran
In early February, HUD announced that it has charged the landlords of a rental home in Oklahoma with violating fair housing law by denying the reasonable accommodation requests of a resident, a veteran with disabilities.
The case came to HUD’s attention when a combat veteran with a mental disability filed a complaint against the owners of the house he was renting for refusing to waive their pet deposit fee for his emotional support animal. According to HUD’s charge, the resident provided the owners and management company with medical documentation attesting to his need for the animal, but they denied his request to waive a $250 pet deposit. HUD’s charge will be heard by an administrative judge unless any party elects to take the case to court.
Federal fair housing law prohibits housing providers from denying or limiting housing to persons with disabilities, or from refusing to make reasonable accommodations in policies or practices for people with disabilities. Under the law, assistance animals are not considered pets, so communities must consider reasonable accommodation requests to waive pet fees for persons with disabilities who use assistance animals.
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.