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Violations of the Fair Housing Act occur frequently enough that we write about them here when the Department of Housing and Urban Development announces a new case. Discrimination has chilling effects on the entire housing industry, so there are very good reasons why these laws exist.

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HUD Announces Las Vegas Fair Housing Settlement

March 6, 2022

HUD Announces Las Vegas Fair Housing Settlement
Violations of the Fair Housing Act occur frequently enough that we write about them here when the Department of Housing and Urban Development announces a new case. Discrimination has chilling effects on the entire housing industry; there are very good reasons why these laws exist--people looking to purchase or rent housing still face illegal discrimination in the United States.

And experiencing it while trying to purchase a home can make purchasing a home far more difficult than it needs to be.

One of the most recent Fair Housing cases was announced in February 2022. The HUD official site issued a press release announcing an agreement had been reached the agency and Las Vegas landlords accused of discriminating against people with disabilities. 

The HUD press release states the agreement was reached between “Las Vegas landlord, Anwar Malik, and Malik’s property manager, Ahmad Sharif-Yazdi, to resolve allegations of discrimination brought by a prospective tenant with a disability.”

This case involves an alleged refusal to rent property based on the applicant having or needing an assistance animal. Fair Housing Act laws make it illegal at the federal level to discriminate against people with disabilities or to refuse to grant reasonable accommodations.

Fair Housing Act Rules

HUD states that it is not lawful for landlords to “prohibit people with disabilities from having assistance animals that perform work or tasks or that provide disability-related emotional support” as stated in the HUD press release.

This Fair Housing case was brought to HUD’s attention after a “prospective tenant filed a fair housing complaint alleging that she was denied the opportunity to rent a house because she had a dog who served as her assistance animal.”

A lease was signed, but in this instance, once the owner and manager discovered the renter had an assistance animal, they allegedly “refused to rent the house” because of the animal.

“Not only is it cruel to deny a person with disabilities access to housing because they have a service animal, but it is also against the law,” according to Demetria L. McCain, HUD’s Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, who is quoted in the press release.

The Settlement Agreement

The terms of the agreement include a requirement that the property owner pays $6,500 to the prospective tenant. Fair housing training has been required for the owner and property manager. Such outcomes are typical in these cases, though the dollar amounts and requirements for Fair Housing training may vary.

Report Fair Housing Act Violations

Discrimination in housing is illegal for both renters and buyers. You can report housing discrimination for any stage or aspect of the housing process including rentals, real estate services, lending, etc. You can file a complaint with the HUD Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at (800) 669-9777 (voice) or (800) 877-8339 (Relay).

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