A tenant in New Hampshire received $ 35,000 from the John J. Flatley Company, which owns and operates apartment complexes in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, after an apartment complex did not let the dog emotional support for the tenant staying on the property, federal prosecutors said.
The company has been accused of violating the Fair Housing Act in refusing to accommodate the tenant’s depression and anxiety disabilities, Acting U.S. Attorney John Farley said Tuesday.
U.S. District Judge Joseph Laplante on Monday approved a consent decree resolving allegations that the John J. Flatley corporation violated the Fair Housing Act.
As part of the resolution, the company, without admitting liability, agreed to pay the tenant $ 35,000 and adopt policies at its New Hampshire properties in accordance with the Fair Housing Act, according to a press release from the department. of Justice. The company must also take training on the Fair Housing Act.
The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, family status, and disability, according to the US Department of Housing website and of urban development.
“We are delighted that the company has agreed to resolve this issue and is now putting in place policies and conducting training so that people with disabilities have equal housing opportunities. As this case shows, the US attorney’s office is committed to protecting the rights of people with disabilities with disabilities and will vigorously enforce federal civil rights laws in Granite State, ”Farley quoted in the press release.
The tenant filed a complaint in April with HUD after the company and a property manager allegedly said they would allow an emotional support animal as long as it is not a dog, according to a press release from the Ministry of Justice released in April.
After receiving the complaint, the United States filed a lawsuit against the company and a property manager on behalf of the tenant on April 9.
The tenant had used the dog, named Molly, as an emotional support animal for several years.
A company lawyer was unavailable for comment on the consent decree on Tuesday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.