HUD Charges Apartments with Discrimination Against Tenants Who Need Emotional Support Animals

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has charged a Philadelphia apartment owner with discriminating against a person with disabilities based on its refusal to waive pet fees for emotional support animals, according to a release.

HUD is charging Post Presidential Property Owner, LLC, and Post Commercial Real Estate, LLC, the owner and manager respectively of Presidential City Apartments in Philadelphia, with disability discrimination.

A tenant with a disability requiring an emotional support animal reached out to HUD alleging that she had been denied a reasonable accommodation to have pet fees waived at the apartments for such an animal.

The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination based on disabilities, including denying reasonable-accommodation requests for the waiver of pet fees for assistance animals and rejecting requests for a designated handicapped parking space needed by a person with a disability.

The complaint said “the tenant received an email from apartment’s counsel stating ‘a landlord is entitled to charge pet fees for an emotional support animal, which is considered a pet, unlike a service animal’.”

Based upon this evidence, HUD recommended testing the subject property.

The tests focused on reasonable accommodations relating to designated accessible parking and emotional-support animals for prospective tenants with disabilities.

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