HRC Helps Tenant Keep Housing and Therapy Dog

Friday, September 04, 2015

The Housing Rights Center recently assisted a tenant with disabilities in saving her housing and keeping her therapy dog.
 
The tenant, a female with mental disabilities, applied to live at the complaint property and in her rental application, stated that she would be living with her dog. Her application was subsequently approved and she moved into the apartment.

Approximately one month later, she was contacted by the property owner’s representative and was told she would have to remove her dog from the apartment due the building having a “no-pet” policy. The tenant informed the owner’s representative that her dog was not a pet, but was medically prescribed by her doctor for disability-related purposes. She also explained that she had listed her dog on the rental application to avoid any issues, since she could not live independently without her therapy dog.

The next day, the owner personally went to her apartment and served her with a notice threatening legal action if her dog was not removed from the premises.

Desperate and facing eviction, she contacted the Housing Rights Center for help.
 
The Housing Rights Center contacted the property owner by phone and mail, and requested that the tenant be allowed to keep her therapy animal in her apartment based on her disability. The Housing Rights Center explained to the property owner that disability-related animals were exempt from “no-pet” policies, and that denying her the right to live with her therapy animal would be considered illegal housing discrimination.

Shortly thereafter, the owner’s representative agreed to allow her to keep her therapy animal and not proceed with the eviction. The tenant confirmed with the Housing Rights Center that she was still living with her dog in her apartment without any further issue.