Parking Dispute Costs Landlord $80,000

by Chris on June 3, 2020

The landlord of an apartment complex in Pennsylvania has agreed to pay $80,000 to settle a lawsuit over its refusal to provide a reserved parking space for a tenant with a disability.

HUD successfully argued that the action violated the Fair Housing Act’s requirement that landlords provide reasonable accommodation to tenants with mobility limitations and other disabilities. Landlords must provide accommodations that allow these tenants to enjoy the property in the same manner as those without disabilities.

“For persons with disabilities, a task as basic as walking from a parking lot to their home or climbing a flight of stairs can be very difficult,” Anna María Farías, HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity points out.

HUD has reiterated its commitment to prosecuting landlords who fail to meet this standard.

In addition to the refusal to accommodate the parking request, the landlord also allegedly failed to allow the tenant with a disability to transfer into an available ground floor unit. The landlord was accused of then retaliating against the resident by threatening the tenant with eviction.

A local housing advocate conducted independent testing and claims that testers posing as rental applicants with mobility challenges were told they could not have designated parking spaces.

The landlord denies the claims but has agreed to pay a monetary settlement to the tenant. In addition, the landlord must develop a reasonable accommodation policy and distribute that policy to all tenants. The landlord’s staff must attend fair housing classes, and the landlord’s leasing activity will be monitored for up to two years.

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Disclaimer: The information provided in this post is not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.

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