ATLANTA – The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia has entered into an agreement with Sentinel Real Estate Inc., Tina Brooks, and John’s Creek, LLC (“Respondents”), a property owner and management company, to resolve allegations of discrimination concerning a Complainant who requested a reasonable accommodation for an emotional support and service animal.
“People with disabilities who need assistance animals to support them with daily activities should be allowed to keep these animals in their homes,” said U.S. Attorney Kurt R. Erskine. “A person who needs the continuous support of an emotional support animal should not have to face continuous obstacles to simply keep their pet at home. My office will continue to enforce the Fair Housing Act to combat this type of discrimination.”
This matter was initiated by a complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”). The Complainant, who had a mental health disability that limited his daily activities, required the continuous support of an emotional support animal. The Complainant alleged that he submitted a reasonable accommodation request asking Respondents to allow his emotional support pet to live with him. Complainant further alleged that Respondents discriminated against him when they delayed approval of his request for a reasonable accommodation, and then five months later, notified him that his lease would not be renewed. Complainant alleged that these actions violated the Fair Housing Act and caused him emotional distress.
As provided in the Agreement, Respondents will implement a reasonable accommodation policy concerning service/emotional support animals which has been approved by the United States. Respondents will also pay $35,000 to the Complainant’s estate, train staff on the Fair Housing Act, and submit periodic reports to the United States Attorney’s office regarding implementation of the Agreement.
This matter was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Aileen Bell Hughes, Special Counsel, Civil Rights Unit, U.S. Attorney’s Office.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.
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