Georgia Courtroom of Appeals rejects HUD’s place on pet charges

by admin

HUD has persistently taken the place {that a} landlord can by no means cost pet hire or a pet deposit for a service or help animal.¹ It isn’t a place that makes any sense though HUD has held it for a very long time.² In Leslie v. 1125 Hammond, LP, 2023 WL 3858575 (Ga. App. June 7, 2023) the Georgia Courtroom of Appeals explains why the place is improper:

As an preliminary matter, it seems that Leslie has failed to point out that his requested lodging to waive the pet charges for his canine was “essential to afford him a chance to make use of and revel in his dwelling.” . . . . A “mandatory” lodging is one which “alleviates the consequences of a incapacity,” and a plaintiff should “present, at a minimal, that the lodging affirmatively enhances his high quality of life by ameliorating (or decreasing) the consequences of his incapacity.” . . . . Right here, Leslie’s requested lodging was not itself to have a service canine (as that was apparently already allowed), however he as an alternative requested that Sync Residential waive any related pet charges for the canine. Leslie has not proven that waiving the pet charges would itself “alleviate the impact of his incapacity” any additional than the profit already offered by having the service canine.  . . . Leslie has not pointed to proof that he lacks the cheap monetary functionality to pay the pet charges, whether or not due to his incapacity or in any other case.4  . . .  Thus, it seems that Leslie has failed to point out that his request to waive the pet charges was essential to accommodate his PTSD.

The Georgia Courtroom shouldn’t be the primary to make the widespread sense argument that waiver of a pet deposit ought to solely be required whether it is mandatory for the equal use and delight of a dwelling.³ In U.S. v. Barber, 2014 WL 4988200, at *8 (W.D. Wash. Oct. 7, 2014) for instance, the court docket rejected the notion that waiver of a pet deposit was required as a matter of regulation, discovering that whether or not an lodging was mandatory trusted the details of every case.

The evaluation for waiving pet hire or pet deposits as an lodging is straightforward. An lodging is important if with out it the tenant can not equally use and revel in their condo. If everybody else pays a pet deposit then for the disabled tenant to pay a pet deposit is equality, not discrimination. Saying that an help animal shouldn’t be a pet is simply phrase play – the owner can name it an animal deposit and the argument disappears. As well as, HUD admits the tenant is required to pay for injury brought on by the animal, which is what a pet deposit and pet hire are purported to cowl. If the tenant has to pay for injury why not require the tenant to pay a deposit to cowl future injury? A tenant with an help or service animal might as a matter of truth want an lodging with respect to pet charges, however that can not be mentioned to be universally true.

It isn’t clear what rationale HUD has for its place. Maybe since 66% of American households embody a pet(4) this simply displays the truth that a majority of HUD’s regulators are pet lovers and might’t think about why landlords need a deposit within the first place. It’s nearly sure that nobody concerned within the varied non-binding guidances revealed by HUD has any expertise with the prices landlords incur when badly behaved pets smash carpets and sheet rock or with the sensible actuality {that a} landlord merely can not get better losses from a tenant who has already moved out as a result of renters are usually transient and barely possessed of considerable property which might be topic to execution.

Most necessary although, HUD can not appear to understand the truth that treating these with disabilities as if they’re, by definition, incapable of paying pet charges that these with out disabilities routinely pay, is the worst type of insult. These with disabilities might have lodging straight associated to their incapacity, however they don’t should be handled like helpless kids who’re unable to handle odd monetary obligations like pet hire and pet deposits. Treating these with disabilities as equals means beginning with the belief that they’re equal in each respect besides their particular incapacity. The “no pet price” rule does precisely the alternative.


¹ The newest formal assertion in present in FHEO 2020-1, “Assessing a Individual’s Request to Have an Animal as a Cheap Lodging Underneath the Truthful Housing Act.”

² See, Joint Assertion of the Division of Housing and City Growth and the Division of Justice, Cheap Lodging Underneath the Truthful Housing Act (“Joint Assertion”), Q and A 11 (Might 17, 2004),  

³ See my weblog: Unconventional knowledge regarding pet deposits beneath the Truthful Housing Act.

(4) See, Forbes, Pet Possession Statistics and Details in 2023.


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