SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced the approval of a Conciliation Agreement with a landlord and agent in San Francisco, California, resolving allegations that they refused to rent to a tenant with disabilities because he had an emotional support animal. Read the agreement.
The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing providers from denying housing to persons with disabilities and from refusing to make reasonable accommodations in policies or practices, which includes denying assistance animal requests.
“Assistance animals provide persons with disabilities with the support they need to not only enjoy their home, but to function in life,” said Anna María Farías, Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “Today’s agreement reflects HUD’s ongoing commitment to ensuring that housing providers abide by our nation’s fair housing laws.”“The Fair Housing Act is clear. Support animals are not ‘pets’ under the law,” said Regional Administrator Jimmy Stracner. “Landlords with a no-pet policy who deny renting to a prospective disabled tenant because of a support animal are violating federal fair housing law.” The case came to HUD’s attention when an individual with disabilities filed a complaint alleging that he was denied the opportunity to rent an apartment because he had an emotional support animal. HUD’s investigation found the landlord and agent were explicitly informed that the prospective tenant’s animal is prescribed by a doctor and allowed under fair housing laws, but they still refused to consider his tenancy because of the animal.
Under the terms of the agreement, the owner will pay the complainant $9,000 and both respondents will attend fair housing training.
Persons who believe they have experienced discrimination may file a complaint by contacting HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at (800) 669-9777 (voice) or (800) 927-9275 (TTY).
HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all.
More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet
at www.hud.gov and https://espanol.hud.gov.