The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced it approved a new agreement between two Nevada real estate companies to resolve claims of disability discrimination.
The Conciliation Agreement is between real estate companies Delta House Investments and Premier Realty and a prospective tenant to resolve a claim the tenant was denied a request to have an assistance animal.
HUD explained the Fair Housing Act requires housing providers to make reasonable accommodations in policies or practices when a person with a disability requires such accommodations, including granting waivers to no pet policies for those who require assistance animals. The law also makes it illegal to make housing unavailable to anyone because of a disability.
“Forcing persons with disabilities to live without the assistance animals they depend on denies them the opportunity to fully enjoy their home,” said Anna María Farías, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “This case was resolved quickly and represents our continued commitment to protecting the rights of persons who require such accommodations and ensuring that housing providers meet their obligation to comply with the nation’s fair housing laws.”
The agreement came after a woman filed a complaint with HUD claiming Delta House Investments and Premier Realty denied her request to keep an assistance animal in the apartment she was attempting to rent. She reported she provided documentation from her doctor showing she needed the pet due to her disability.
However, according to the complaint, the leasing agent informed her that the owner did not allow pets as the floor had recently been updated to hardwood. The woman reported she did not continue to pursue the rental after that.
The two companies will pay the woman $6,000, obtain fair housing training and adopt reasonable accommodation policies that assess requests on a timely basis and maintain records related to the requests under the agreement.