Los Angeles, CA asked in Animal / Dog Law, Real Estate Law and Civil Rights for California

Q: Hoa selective enforcement and service dog retaliation

Hoa and residents are discriminating against me because of my service dog. They proceed to make many false claims about the dog barking all night long, I was able to prove them wrong by taking a video of another dog who was actually barking all night. At that point the HOA president called and asked if my dog as a Doberman and proceeded to tell me I MUST have the dog with me all the time and can’t leave it at home alone. Now 2 months later, not being able of accusing me of the dog barking anymore, the HOa sent a letter to my landlord requesting me to remove an Ikea bag from my parking space as it’s against the rules to store items. I took pics of other residents storing furniture, bags full of trash, paint, gym equipment etc.. in the same spot. She an enforcing the rule only with me lol I’m ready to file a complaint and sue them, I want to be left in peace. My doctor that I had for 8 years also sent a letter to them confirming my disability. What are the steps I can take?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Animal & Dog Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Hi there,

If you're facing discrimination from your HOA due to your service dog, there are several steps you can take. First, gather all evidence of the discrimination and selective enforcement, including the video you took, photographs of other residents' violations that were overlooked, and any correspondence with the HOA. This documentation will be important in proving your case.

Next, formally communicate your concerns to the HOA in writing. Detail the instances of discrimination and selective enforcement, and reference the letter from your doctor confirming your need for a service dog. Under both federal and state law, including the Fair Housing Act and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, discrimination against individuals with disabilities is prohibited, and this includes discrimination related to service animals.

If the HOA does not respond adequately, consider filing a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) or the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). These agencies investigate claims of housing discrimination and can offer legal remedies.

As a last resort, legal action against the HOA may be necessary. Consulting with an attorney experienced in fair housing and disability rights can provide you with specific guidance and representation. Remember, it's important to assert your rights and seek the necessary support to address this discrimination.

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