Landlords have agreed to pay $6,000 and forgive back rent to settle a complaint by disabled tenants, a couple, that they were denied the opportunity to move to a first-floor unit despite being told upon moving in that they would be able to transfer to a first-floor unit as soon as one became available.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Silver Creek Apartments in Las Vegas, Nevada, have reached a conciliation agreement, according to a release.
On-Site manager denied disabled tenants request to move
The agreement resolves allegations that the on-site manager denied the couple’s request to move to a first-floor unit. The property is owned by Silver Creek LV, LLC, and managed by Stout Management Company, both located in Las Vegas. Read the agreement.
The Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful to discriminate in the sale, rental, and financing of dwellings, and in other housing-related transactions, based on disability. This includes refusing to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, or services or facilities related to housing.
“Housing providers need to understand that many people with mobility impairments rely on accommodations to fully enjoy their home, and that they have an obligation to provide those accommodations,” Anna María Farías HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, said in the release. “Hopefully this settlement will make more housing providers aware of their responsibilities under the Fair Housing Act.”
Couple made numerous requests to move to first-floor apartment
The couple alleged that they made the same request on numerous occasions over a seven-year period.
Each time their request was denied even though they observed first-floor units being rented to others, according to the release.
Landlord tried to charge move-in fee and additional deposit for move to first-floor
According to the complaints, earlier this year, the apartment landlords approved the couple’s request to move to a first-floor unit.
However they were told they would have to pay a move-in fee of $700 and an additional $400 security deposit. The couple could not afford the extra costs and was forced to move out.
The housing providers deny that they discriminated against the couple.
Under the HUD conciliation agreement, Stout Management and Silver Creek LV, LLC, will pay the couple $6,000, forgive $1,392 in unpaid rent, and amend their Fair Housing policies to include information about reasonable accommodations.
In addition, all leasing and management staff who work with tenants at Silver Creek Apartments will attend Fair Housing training.
Last April, HUD marked the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, joining local communities, housing advocates, and fair housing organizations across the country in a coordinated campaign to enhance awareness of fair housing rights.
Persons who believe they have experienced discrimination may file a complaint by contacting HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at (800) 669-9777 (voice) or (800) 927-9275 (TTY).