Fair Housing vs. Unfair Housing

Do you know the difference?

Knowing the difference between fair housing and unfair housing isn't as obvious as you might think. This blog aims to present a variety of important and interesting fair housing issues.

If you're an apartment professional, avoid costly mistakes by reading the stories of others who — even with good intentions — learned compliance lessons the hard way. (For the easy way, click here.)

If you live in an apartment, get familiar with your rights when it comes to housing discrimination, as well as your options for seeking justice.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Coop in the Doghouse for 'Unreasonable' Support Animal Rules

HUD issued a discrimination charge, dated September 29, 2008, against a New York City coop for not allowing a family to keep a dog to help their autistic child. After the 11-year-old boy's doctor told his parents she's prescribing an emotional support animal, the parents requested an exception to the coop's no-pet policy as a reasonable accommodation for their son's disability.

The coop agreed to let the parents get a support dog for their son, but with conditions that the parents alleged were unreasonable, including:
  • Requiring the parents to purchase a $1 million liability insurance policy
  • Imposing a weight limit of under ten pounds
  • Banning the use of the passenger elevator when transporting the dog
  • Imposing a two-hour limit on how long the dog may be left alone in the coop
  • Requiring that the dog be muzzled while in the common areas
HUD agreed with the parents, charging the coop with violating the Fair Housing Act's ban on disability discrimination. A HUD administrative law judge will hear the matter, unless the coop or the parents choose to bring the case to a federal district court.

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