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Charging Pet Deposit For Service Dog Costs Landlord $20,500

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced last week that the Silver State Fair Housing Council,  and ERGS, Inc.,  the owner/manager of four apartment complexes in Reno, Nevada,  had reached an agreement to settle four Fair Housing complaints.  Silver Lake State Fair Housing Council filed the complaints on September 20, 2016 against ERGS, Inc. alleging ERGS had violated the Federal Fair Housing Act by charging a pet deposit to tenants with service animals.

Under the settlement agreement, ERGS, Inc. must pay $20,500 to the Silver State Fair Housing Council as well as  adopt written policies that are consistent with the Fair Housing Act and provide fair housing training for all employees who interact with tenants or applicants.

Under guidelines issued by HUD back in April 2013 it is very clear that, not only must a landlord provide reasonable accommodations to people with disabilities who required assistance animals, they must not treat the assistance animal as a pet and charge a pet deposit.

 

Disability-related claims are the most common type of Fair Housing complaint filed today, accounting for over 58 percent of the 4,9000 fair housing complaints filed last year.

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