WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today an agreement with a group of Las Vegas landlords settling allegations they retaliated against a tenant with disabilities because she requested permission to install a ramp that would allow her to enter and exit her apartment. Read the agreement.
The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing providers from retaliating against residents with disabilities who request reasonable accommodations in policies or practices. Additionally, the law makes it illegal to make housing unavailable to any person because of a disability.
“Reasonable modifications don’t constitute special treatment and are essential to enabling persons with disabilities to fully enjoy their homes,” said Gustavo Velasquez, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “Today’s settlement represents HUD’s ongoing commitment to taking action when landlords treat persons with disabilities unfairly just because they asked for a modification or accommodation they were entitled to.”
The case came to HUD’s attention after the tenant, who has a mobility disability, filed a complaint alleging that the owners and managers of Las Vegas Manor Apartments and their on-site agents refused to renew her lease in retaliation for making a request for the installation of a ramp.
The tenant alleged that she made repeated requests to the owners for a ramp, which they generally provided to tenants free of charge. The owners eventually agreed to install the ramp, but soon after installing it, they refused to renew the tenant’s lease. During HUD’s investigation, one of the owners’ agents indicated that he objected to the tenant’s manner of requesting the ramp and, because of that, opted not to renew her lease.
Under the terms of the Conciliation Agreement, the owners and operators of Las Vegas Manor Apartments will pay the woman $10,000, obtain fair housing training, adopt a HUD-approved reasonable accommodation policy, and post a fair housing poster in the public area of the subject property.
Last year, disability was the most common basis of fair housing complaints filed with HUD and Fair Housing Assistance Program agencies (HUD partners,) cited as a basis for more than half, or nearly 55 percent, of all complaints.
People who believe they have experienced discrimination may file a complaint by contacting HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at (800) 669-9777 (voice) or (800) 927-9275 (TTY). Housing discrimination complaints may also be filed by going to www.hud.gov/fairhousing, or by downloading HUD’s free housing discrimination mobile application, which can be accessed through Apple and Android devices.