Author Topic: Landlords revoke offer to rent  (Read 611 times)

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Offline missfire

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Landlords revoke offer to rent
« on: July 12, 2017, 10:16:14 PM »
So I've applied to a few apartments in the past few months, all of which accepted my applications and were ready to sign a lease with me. However, after I informed them of my ESA they revoked their offers to rent and denied me housing, despite me being clear that my dog is an emotional support animal. I submitted multiple medical letters to them from my health care providers that I am mentally disabled and recommend the ESA. I even provided references for his good health, training and behavior (I trained him during college with other animal science students/faculty) and a brief description of how he helps me with my disabilities.

This has been extremely frustrating, as I am in an area with very few rentals that allow pets so I have begun applying to those which normally have a no-pet policy. He's a small dog, not a pit bull or great dane or something, and I can't see how he would cause undue hardship/financial burden or pose a threat to other tenants. When I ask, the answer has always just been "strictly no pets". I was under the impression that ESAs aren't pets and are protected by the FHA.

I have filed HUD complaints and haven't heard anything back yet. Am I doing something wrong? Even if I try to make a claim against these landlords, that still leaves me homeless and I don't know if I can shoulder the cost, both financially and mentally.

Has anyone ever successfully convinced a prospective landlord to allow them to live with their ESA? I don't want to end up alone, disabled, and regressing back to where I was without my dog.

Offline Suse

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Re: Landlords revoke offer to rent
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2017, 12:02:07 AM »
Apply in apartment multi - units, not in single or small unit buildings.  I am not sure otherwise.  How old is your dogt does it have references? Is your dog house broken?
How can you give it references?  That could help but is not required.

Offline Kirsten

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Re: Landlords revoke offer to rent
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2017, 01:25:32 AM »
It can be hard to prove that the reason they withdrew the offer was because of the ESA.  I mean, once they consult their attorney they'll probably discover they should not have admitted that was the reason and if it's not in writing then they can just claim you misunderstood and that's not what they said or meant and then it's hard to prove.

Have you tried calling your nearest HUD office for some advice on how to do this to get proper evidence to pursue a complaint?  Sometimes they wind up doing a sting operation if the problem seems to be big in one area or with a certain landlord.  Other than that I suggest trying to arrange things so that they leave you a voice mail or send you a letter or email (I think email is best) denying you and explaining why they denied you.

I agree that your odds are probably better with larger landlords who are more likely to be aware of the regulations and understand what their obligations are.

As far as filing complaints, it can take months for those to make their way through the process.  It's not going to be a quick fix like calling the police when you see a burglar or something along those lines.  That's because the FHAct is a civil law rather than a criminal one, which means it is enforced not by law enforcement but by courts.  HUD can investigate complaints and make a finding and recommendation to a court but they don't actually have any power to force the landlord to comply.  A lot of times though just getting called by a HUD investigator can give a landlord enough of an education that they stop discriminating.
Kirsten and Tardis
In loving memory of Cole (1/11/99 - 6/26/12)  He gave me back my life.

"The one absolute, unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world -- the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous -- is his dog." -George G. Vest

Offline missfire

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Re: Landlords revoke offer to rent
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2017, 01:28:52 AM »
Thank you for the replies. I do have it in emails that they were denying me because of their "no-pet" policy. After I asked for further confirmation in writing, they just told me to speak to their lawyer, and that they would not respond further. I did apply to multi-unit places, I specifically looked for places with 4+ units where the owner doesn't live.

My dog is 2 years old and house-broken. I do have references (from professors and such), I'm a student studying animal science so I bring him to my classes sometimes for demonstrations or practice. Good for getting free vaccines for him, haha.

Luckily, I got a response after I filed a HUD complaint online and after some initial questions they said to expect something in the mail within a week. I'm also speaking with a legal office tomorrow for more advice about what I can do. I'm just so frustrated with how often this seems to happen around here  :sad:  I try to avoid mentioning it on applications, because I often stop getting responses unless I'm persistent, and even then it's 2 weeks later and a "sorry we found someone else" situation.

Offline Suse

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Re: Landlords revoke offer to rent
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2017, 08:08:15 PM »
I hope you will keep us updated! I would like to know how this comes out. Best of luck.