Violations of Fair Housing laws can hinder those hoping to buy with FHA loans, conventional loans or other mortgages at some point, even if they aren’t actively looking to purchase at the moment. That’s why we report on Fair Housing cases from time to time-current and future loan applicants should know their rights and what to do if they encounter unfair treatment along the way.
HUD recently announced on its official site that it is bringing charges against Oklahoma landlords for violations of Fair housing law. According to a press release on the HUD site that, “…it is charging the landlords of a Moore, Oklahoma rental home with violating the Fair Housing Act by denying the reasonable accommodation requests of their tenant, a veteran with disabilities”.
Fair Housing laws forbid denying housing “to persons with disabilities, or from refusing to make reasonable accommodations in policies or practices for people with disabilities.This includes waiving pet fees for persons with disabilities who use assistance animals.”
According to the press release, this case was brought to HUD after “a combat veteran living with a mental disability who uses an emotional support animal filed a complaint alleging that the owners of the house he was renting.”
“The tenant complained that AMH 2015-1 Borrower, LLC, and its management company, AH4R Management OK, LLC, refused to waive their pet deposit fee.”
The HUD case includes allegations that in spite of offering the landlords medical paperwork showing the need for a support animal, the landlords “denied his request to waive a $250 pet fee. Under the law, assistance animals are not considered pets”.
This case, the press release says, will be heard by a United States Administrative Law Judge “unless any party to the charge elects to have the case heard in federal district court.” If it is determined that Fair Housing Act violations occurred, damages may be awarded to the victim in the case.
HUD states that disability cases are among the most common Fair Housing Act issues reported. Any buyer or renter who has experienced such illegal discrimination should report it to HUD as soon as possible. Contact the HUD Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at (800) 669-9777 (voice) or (800) 927-9275 (TTY).