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, September 2, 2011

Landlords Gave Girl With Cerebral Palsy Two Options: Bad and Worse

For a divorced Iowa mother caring for a daughter with cerebral palsy, there were two options: 1) pay an additional $200 security deposit, plus $25 extra in rent each month, or 2) give up your apartment.

Why the options after the family had already been living in their apartment for months? The mother thought a Labrador retriever would provide needed assistance and stress reduction to the seven-year-old girl. Her pediatrician agreed and wrote a letter to the family's landlords to support their request for a reasonable accommodation to the landlords' no-pets rule.

However, the landlords refused to accommodate the girl's disability in this way, prompting the family to move out of the building to an apartment with a higher rent, located much farther away from the girl's school.

The mother complained to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which brought a fair housing complaint against the landlords and issued a Charge of Discrimination. A HUD administrative law judge is expected to hear the case.

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