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U.S. Attorney Sues Nashua Landlord for Alleged Violation of the Fair Housing Act

U.S. Attorney Sues Nashua Landlord for Alleged Violation of the Fair Housing Act

Anup 9 April 14, 2021
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The U.S. Attorneys Office announced on Monday that the United States filed a lawsuit on Friday against John J. Flatley d/b/a John J. Flatley Company (Flatley), and a property manager employed by Flatley, for violating the Fair Housing Act. The lawsuit alleges that Flatley discriminated against a tenant by refusing to allow a reasonable accommodation of the tenant’s disability when the tenant sought to have an emotional support dog.

As alleged in the complaint, the tenant leased an apartment in Nashua, which is owned by Flatley. The tenant, who was diagnosed with anxiety and depression, had used a dog for emotional support for several years. After the tenant requested permission to have an emotional support animal at the apartment, Flatley and the property manager indicated that they would permit the tenant to have an emotional support animal, but not a dog. The complaint alleges Flatley would not permit tenants to have dogs as emotional support animals.

The tenant filed an administrative complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Upon investigation, HUD determined that there was reasonable cause to believe that the Fair Housing Act had been violated. The tenant elected pursuant to the Fair Housing Act to have HUD’s determination resolved in federal court.

In these circumstances, the Fair Housing Act authorizes the Justice Department to commence an action in U.S. District Court on behalf of the tenant. The complaint seeks declaratory, injunctive, and monetary relief for the tenant.

“The Fair Housing Act serves to provide equal opportunity to individuals with disabilities by obligating landlords to provide tenants with reasonable accommodations,” said Acting U.S. Attorney John Farley of the District of New Hampshire. “One commonly-needed accommodation for an individual with a disability is access to an assistance animal, such as a service animal or a support animal. In order to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities and prevent discrimination, we will not hesitate to pursue litigation to enforce the Fair Housing Act and other federal civil rights laws.”

The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin and disability. Individuals who believe that they have been victims of housing discrimination can call the Housing Discrimination Tip Line at 1-800-896-7743, email the Justice Department at fairhousing@usdoj.gov or contact HUD at 1-800-669-9777.

9 Replies to “U.S. Attorney Sues Nashua Landlord for Alleged Violation of the Fair Housing Act”

  1. I feel like my rights are being violated. I have a longstanding diagnosis of depression and anxiety due to past trauma. My landlord gave me permission March of last year to keep my dog. I fell behind in rent due to covid and now is trying to use the dog as a reason to evict since he cant for back rent. I registered my dog as a service dog and have documentation from my doctor as well as a diagnosis and medication that I take daily. I also have heart disease which only adds to the anxiety of everything going on and I think I need help

  2. I live in an apartment and am permanently disabled and the management will not allow me to have my service animal at the pool although there is a sign posted service dogs are allowed? I live in AZ……..treading thin water!

  3. This was great! Person’ with mental / emotional problems need to be aware of their fair housing rights , especially when relocating and renting from a different landlord. Is the property owner allowed to charge additional deposits and fees for a service dog?

  4. My kids and I were given a dog, last year and I their mother have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder,depression,anxiety, and paranoia. I’ve been taking several different medications over the years and because my landlord dismissed my noise complaint in court to evict me July 23,2021 and had my housing authority illegally terminate my voucher. My landlord has gotten a neighborhood services officer to now try to fine for not having updated information on my dog, and he was crying because I was in the hospital with my sick three year old. She is trying to pull all strings to get me out as she’s already violated the lease and my housing authority as well by keeping me and my children in a three bedroom apartment on a one bedroom voucher from December 2019 to present. My children and I have been constantly have been going through emotional distress I have seven children and myself that’s been living here overcrowded.

  5. What restrictions can be applied in a multi living facility, leashes, muzzled, etc. This is a 55 and over facility. Can animal owners be required to have a leash or harness on their dogs?

  6. i have a landlord that wont let me have my license service dog until she calls my dr i thought that that was against the law

  7. Hello we have ran into a issue with our landlord my husband is retired from the military and we have our dog nala who is registered for his companion for his ptsd we have stayed here for 3years and paid the pet deposit and they recently changed landlords and she is saying we have to get rid of her because they don’t no longer allow dogs over 25lbs ive stayed here for years and the last landlord approved her and now the new ones are saying no what should we do reguarding this

  8. Yes my mother in law Is being threatened with eviction because of barking. But the dog is a companion animal, stated by her physician. My mother in law Is 80 she lives alone and the animal only barks when someone is at the door. She barked more when she was younger but not anymore. Now management is giving her till 6/23/22
    And today is 6/21/22 . And the notice was issued at 3:00 PM. Less than 48 hours. Don’t know what to do in that short of notice

  9. Similar happened to me however my situation was I had lived at the apartment complex for 7 years along with my Service Dog Rylee.
    Rylee wore many hats when it came to the work he did for me . I was to sign my lease and I had just been released from the hospital. I had the need for him to balance me . I wasn’t greeted well when I went to sign and also I was denied the right to sit where everyone else sirs to sign their leases. I was denied that right I was told to take my “animal” home and get my butt home v j to sign my lease or get the hell off the property. The manager said she was gonna call the law I waited and when it was apparent she didn’t I mad the call myself to th non emergency recorded line . The Officer came and was siding with the manager. I was denied my civil rights by the Officer as well long story short I was to ill to file a grievance with Th FHA the Justice Dept and The ADA for violating each if the acts above None of my as I. My kids would help. . I guess they didn’t believe me My sob said we have no civil rights . This started a conflict with my children and I. I ended up not signing my lease.abd eventually evicted . This happened in 2017 in sure I can’t do anything about it now. I have a new Pup and trust me when. I say I pray my mental health will be better so I can stand up for my civil right. I knew it then just mentally couldn’t stand up for me. The Daniel of my SA happened at other establishments around town.

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