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CalAttorney2
CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing both landlords and tenants in residential and commercial property disputes.
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My fiance and I are both disabled and have service animals.

Customer Question

My fiance and I are both disabled and have service animals. I have a letter from my doctor stating that I am allowed to have seizure alert dogs, and cites the Oregon and Federal statues.
We applied to rent a home, and the potential landlord asked my fiance to sign a release of information for her to contact his doctor directly. When I told her that I had contacted the doctor, she yelled at me and stated that I was not to contact the doctor, that SHE would do that. She said that if we did not provide the release of information within 24 hours, that our application would be denied.
I have investigated this, and I know that this is illegal. The letter that I provided was enough to allow our service animals. She is not allowed to contact our doctors directly for any information.
My fiance has suffered numerous seizures due to the stress and mental distress related to this incident, and we are still without a rental. Our application fees have also been forfeited.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

Dear Customer,

I am sorry to learn of this situation.

If the landlord is renting a single family home without the use of a broker, it is not subject to the ADA laws (see: http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/fair_housing_equal_opp/disabilities/inhousing, this is also supported by various case law).

However, your potential landlord has acted inappropriately in both accepting your deposit under the false claim that they would accept your application as if the ADA did apply (meaning you provided support that the dogs were service animals, and provided support for activities of daily living), and that she did in fact demand access to your medical records.

You can sue this individual in small claims court to recover your deposit.

Unfortunately, while you can ask for additional damages, there probably is not much else that you are going to be able to recover from this matter.

If the landlord was in fact using a realtor or a broker, and did violate the ADA, you could file a report with the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development using the link above.

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