Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) announced that it charged a Pennsylvania property owner with disability discrimination related to assistance animals and designated parking spaces pursuant to the Fair Housing Act (FHA).
The case was referred to HUD by a local fair housing tester agency. The agency received a report from an applicant that the property charged pet deposits and/or pet rent for emotional support animals. The complaint notes that counsel for the property sent a letter affirming the fees are to be charged for emotional support animals. After receiving the report, the fair housing agency asserts they conducted additional tests that confirmed that emotional support animals were still charged fees which the law requires be waived.
Next, the agency used testers to determine if the property permitted mobility impaired residents to obtain designated parking spaces. While the property has reserved and open parking (along with already painted handicap parking spaces), the HUD complaint asserts management refused to work with a tester (acting as someone with a mobility disability) seeking a designated parking spot.
Again, I am not drawing any conclusions here as I am not involved. What I can say is that, as this case illustrates, HUD will charge a case if it gets credible evidence that an apartment owner/manager charges pet rent or pet fees for emotional support animals. Also, HUD expects management to work with disabled residents to find parking solutions where possible.
Just A Thought.