The wannabe tenant and emotional support dog owner just proved that she not only does need emotional support, but that she either lies, or can’t recall/keep her stories straight. And she doesn’t know what her rights are or aren’t.
After researching whether or not I could turn this couple down based on the emotional support animal (ESA), I emailed her today and said “No.” As the owner of the property working without a leasing agent, I do not have to adhere to the the Fair Housing Act’s anti-discrimination laws when it comes to ESAs. I did not cite this to her in the email, I just said I couldn’t get around the dog.
She called and began pleasantly enough. Things soon escalate when she told me I couldn’t turn them down by law. I corrected her, and said I’d send her my resources. She disagreed, saying her research told her the opposite. She then pulled the, ‘I can’t believe this, we connected, we offered to carpet the floors…’ I cut her off saying they never offered to carpet the floors, nor would I ever allow wall to wall carpet in the house. Next she threatened me with her attorney, who would call me next, to which I said my corral of attorneys would be happy to respond. We actually said goodbye to each other.
I spent the next 30 minutes combing HUDs website for the actual landlord exemptions looking for a statute number, rather than rely solely on rental info websites. I’m going to let my attorney find this for me. Going back to my email I found this, written 17 minutes after she called me:
Thank you for reaching out, and thank you for speaking with me on the phone. I am very disappointed in how that was handled. Knowing you had an opportunity to help out an island family with great references, not to mention the work my father has done for you, we no longer have any interest in renting or working with you— now or in the future. I hope you find a good fit for what you’re looking for. I will not be reaching out again, and I do not plan on moving forward with any action regarding Koda and The Fair Housing Act. I do hope you can learn from this experience and do better next time.
I will restrain myself from dissecting this too much… Her father was paid well for the work he did, some of it less than stellar, on my property. Sorry he’s ill again, but that card falls on unsympathetic ears. Yes, I have heard from one great referral, but how’s your credit? I don’t get to, or want to know. I absolutely will do better next time by being even more guarded! Finally, I bet she found the legal summaries I was going to send her!
My guess is in her early 20’s, even if she still thinks she’s in the right after some quick research, she doesn’t have the financial resources to launch an attack.