$100,000 Pet Policy

An Oregon landlord could face penalties as severe as $100,000 after rejecting a tenant’s companion animal request.
According to a news report, the landlord refused to allow the animal at the apartment complex, citing excessive insurance costs.
Companion animal rules require landlords to waive all pet fees, deposits, and most other pet rules for a tenant with a disability who is requesting the companion animal in order to cope with the disability. Landlords cannot restrict the type of animal allowed; however, HUD has carved out a hardship exception which could apply if the allowing the animal would seriously impact the cost or availability of insurance.
The lawsuit does not mention the specific breed or type of animal requested by the tenant. According to the report, after receiving the tenant’s complaint, the local housing authority sent in testers posing as tenants and then concluded that the landlord asked too many questions about animal breed, and that there is no insurance policy restriction.
As a result, the Oregon Department of Justice filed a lawsuit this week on behalf of the tenant, seeking at least $10,000 in damages, and an undetermined amount in civil penalties. That number could reach $100,000.
According to the report, the landlord typically charges a $650 pet deposit, and $25 per month pet rent.