The Fair Housing Act does more than protect homeowners or renters who use a support-services animal – it also protects residents who need an animal for emotional support. While the definition of an emotional support animal goes beyond “I love him,” the Fair Housing Act covers residents or potential residents who rely on an emotional support animal.
The issue raises questions from landlords and homeowner associations. An existing rule on pets, for example – such as an additional pet deposit – doesn’t apply to support animals under The Fair Housing Act.
“Condo associations are not exempt from adherence to the Fair Housing Act,” said Carlos Osegueda, HUD’s Region IV director for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “Their policies and practices cannot discriminate against persons with disabilities, and HUD will continue to take action anytime we find that they do.”
For more information on emotional support animals protected by The Fair Housing Act, visit the American Bar Association website.
People who believe they are victims of housing discrimination can contact HUD at (800) 669-9777 (voice) or 1 (800) 927-9275 (TTY).