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Sat Jun 18, 2016, 05:53 PM

(Update)Need advice, Am I being discriminated against by my landlord?

Last edited Mon Jun 20, 2016, 08:02 PM - Edit history (1)

(Update)

I reviewed the video this morning. He said that I'm using my disability as a crutch and manipulating people with it. Then he says, if you're disabled, how can you care for the dog?

Fast-forward several hours and he just left here. He walked in, went straight to the kitchen island, layed out a bunch of papers, then said, yeah, your carpet has stains so I'm giving you a 30 day notice to evict. He wanted me to sign papers agreeing to a date but I declined. I was told this morning that he may be in violation of the Fair Housing Act and given The contact info for someone to look into it. So.......I guess I'm moving. :/


As many here know, a few months ago I was raising money to help purchase and train a service dog for myself. The dog has been with us for about a month now and he is currently in his first training class.

Today, our landlord of 4 1/2 years shows up demanding entry into our house. He had seen the dog in the front yard when he was passing by and stopped. He said he knew nothing about it and never received my doctor's note. I checked my email after he left. It was sent 2 months ago to him. He also claimed that during furnace filter change last month, he noticed stains in the carpet. He wanted us to immediately pay for new carpet to be put in. BTW, The carpet was 5 years old when we moved in.

He finally said that this situation was not working for him and we needed to move. I asked if it was because of the dog and he said it wasn't. He got back in his truck to leave but then got back out to tell me that I'm using my disability as a crutch and needed to stop. He went on to talk about how his son is disabled and isn't like me. At this point, my wife came out and said he needed to leave. They started yelling and he said to just call the cops on him. When my wife called 911, he left.


Now, am I wrong to feel he was out of line and to talk about my disability the way he did? He also left notice that he is returning to photograph all of the rooms in 48 hours. Is he just looking for an excuse? Doesn't it seem odd that this happened only one month after the dog arrived? Btw, he comes once a month to inspect everything. I may be leaving out parts of this as it all happened so fast. In addition to a bad heart, I have really bad anxiety and PTSD. The one good thing about all of this is I had cameras installed outside because I don't feel safe. Everything that happened today was recorded.

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Reply (Update)Need advice, Am I being discriminated against by my landlord? (Original post)
Quackers Jun 2016 OP
niyad Jun 2016 #1
Quackers Jun 2016 #6
Dustlawyer Jun 2016 #20
politicaljunkie41910 Jun 2016 #25
Dustlawyer Jun 2016 #28
yeoman6987 Jun 2016 #2
Ms. Toad Jun 2016 #5
Quackers Jun 2016 #11
Ms. Toad Jun 2016 #12
Quackers Jun 2016 #8
tikka Jun 2016 #13
LaydeeBug Jun 2016 #3
Quackers Jun 2016 #9
CrawlingChaos Jun 2016 #4
Quackers Jun 2016 #10
southmost Jun 2016 #7
Quackers Jun 2016 #14
nadine_mn Jun 2016 #17
meow2u3 Jun 2016 #23
tikka Jun 2016 #15
former9thward Jun 2016 #18
Quackers Jun 2016 #34
former9thward Jun 2016 #41
yourpaljoey Jun 2016 #16
Quackers Jun 2016 #35
Evergreen Emerald Jun 2016 #19
Stonepounder Jun 2016 #21
Quackers Jun 2016 #36
Geronimoe Jun 2016 #22
csziggy Jun 2016 #24
Igel Jun 2016 #26
Travis_0004 Jun 2016 #27
Quackers Jun 2016 #37
SheilaT Jun 2016 #29
LeftyMom Jun 2016 #30
Biaviians Jun 2016 #31
Quackers Jun 2016 #38
laserhaas Jun 2016 #32
Samantha Jun 2016 #33
Quackers Jun 2016 #39
stevenleser Jun 2016 #40
Quackers Jun 2016 #42

Response to Quackers (Original post)

Sat Jun 18, 2016, 06:06 PM

1. you need to talk to an attorney immediately, or your social service caseworker if you have one.

is there a tenants' rights group where you are? would contact them as well.

oh, and I would take my own pics.

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Response to niyad (Reply #1)

Sat Jun 18, 2016, 06:56 PM

6. We were thinking about recording him openly when he comes Monday.

I'm not sure if there's a tenants rights group or not here but I will check. Thanks!

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Response to niyad (Reply #1)

Sat Jun 18, 2016, 08:15 PM

20. Definitely talk with an attorney in your state that specializes in the Americans with Disabilities

Act and your state's landlord/tenant laws.

It is not my area, but the ADA covers the Service Dog part, he cannot discriminate due to your disability, which has a section on Service Animals. I would also speak to the landlord only in writing, except for minimum politeness on his inspections. I would re-read your lease agreement closely!

Many attorneys have free or relatively inexpensive consultations, but you need to check around. Go to your State Bar's website and look the attorney up, you can even call your state or county's lawyer referral service.

Best of luck!

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Response to Dustlawyer (Reply #20)

Sat Jun 18, 2016, 09:21 PM

25. Service dogs versus Comfort dogs.

Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person's disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Reply #25)

Sat Jun 18, 2016, 10:02 PM

28. You are correct. The OP mentions a doctor's prescription.

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Response to Quackers (Original post)

Sat Jun 18, 2016, 06:17 PM

2. A landlord is supposed to paint every three years unless a renter stays beyond

 

What I mean is the landlord should have pained the place (inside) before you moved in. Now at 4 1/2 years the landlord doesn't have to repainted until you move out and new tenants move in. I wish you had documentation proving the landlord didn't paint before you moved in. Carpets need replaced by landlord also but not sure of timeframe. You have a case especially if you have him discussing disability on tape.

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Response to yeoman6987 (Reply #2)

Sat Jun 18, 2016, 06:55 PM

5. Obligations of a landlord of that nature vary from state to state.

OP, you need to check the law in your state before asserting your landlord violated specific habitability/maintenance details.

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Response to Ms. Toad (Reply #5)

Sat Jun 18, 2016, 07:08 PM

11. I'm in Ohio

I think the biggest thing that upset me is when he said what he did about my disability.

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Response to Quackers (Reply #11)

Sat Jun 18, 2016, 07:09 PM

12. Sending you a PM. n/t

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Response to yeoman6987 (Reply #2)

Sat Jun 18, 2016, 06:59 PM

8. I know he said even if the carpet is 30 years old, he wouldn't replace it.

He would make the tenant do it.

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Response to yeoman6987 (Reply #2)

Sat Jun 18, 2016, 07:10 PM

13. In corporate owned apartments

carpets life is usually five years and hands off service animals (and even companion animals in some cases). Since you are training your own, you definitely need check out the Fair Housing act.

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Response to Quackers (Original post)

Sat Jun 18, 2016, 06:29 PM

3. At this point, only deal with him in writing. Also, what state are you in?

 

Rental law varies from state to state. Get a police report on the 911 letter and see what legal counsel is available. In most states, you must be given 30 days to vacate. But you have to check your state's laws on the matter.

Also, review the lease. Does it say you have to replace the carpet? In most states, *they* do...not you.

I wish you the best of luck

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Response to LaydeeBug (Reply #3)

Sat Jun 18, 2016, 07:03 PM

9. I think it's 30 days here but ill have to check.

We're in Ohio. I'll have to check it. I know we haven't signed anything since our original 12 month lease almost 5 years ago.

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Response to Quackers (Original post)

Sat Jun 18, 2016, 06:39 PM

4. That is horrendous... he is WAY out of line

You need an advocate - I would waste no time getting in touch with your local tenant's rights organization. Not sure what state you're in but I feel sure your landlord's behavior is well beyond what is permitted by any city or state.

That's great that you have recordings. You might also want to start keeping a journal of all your contact with him, which could be helpful later.

I know in California he would have no right to just show up and demand entry, barring an obvious emergency. Kills me that he's trying to get you to pay to replace a 10-year old carpet! (glad you have that exchange recorded) That carpet has lived it's useful life and has no value at this point! It's HIS responsibility to replace it! How can someone be a landlord for years and not have some idea of his tenant's rights and his own responsibilities? This guy sounds like a real piece of work.

Good luck Quackers!

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Response to CrawlingChaos (Reply #4)

Sat Jun 18, 2016, 07:06 PM

10. I thought so too.

It struck me odd he would get back out of his truck just to say what he did about my disability. I wonder if I have the right to request the maintenance log for this place. I'd like to see when he did everything last.

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Response to Quackers (Original post)

Sat Jun 18, 2016, 06:56 PM

7. did you agree / sign a no pets lease agreement?

if the landlord feels things aren't working out he can always modify lease terms upon renewal...there is no need for him to just want to barge in like that

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Response to southmost (Reply #7)

Sat Jun 18, 2016, 07:11 PM

14. Yes, I signed a 12 month lease agreeing to no pets about 5 years ago.

We haven't done a new lease since. The doctor prescribed my a service dog in February of this year. We sent him notice a couple months ago. Today is the first time anything was said after he spotted it in our front yard.

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Response to Quackers (Reply #14)

Sat Jun 18, 2016, 07:20 PM

17. Generally, if you don't resign a lease it reverts to a month to month

Tenancy. Of course varies by state law. I'm not sure if old lease conditions matter. In addition to contacting legal aid, make sure to check any disability or housing advocacy groups in your area..they can be a wealth of info.

I am so sorry you are dealing with such an asshole. Make sure to document everything...what a jerk.

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Response to Quackers (Reply #14)

Sat Jun 18, 2016, 09:01 PM

23. IANAL, but AFAIK, a service dog is not a pet

Doggie is a working animal and his or her job is to do things for you you can't do yourself.

I would get an attorney ASAP if I were you. But it's up to you to prove the dog is a specially trained service animal.

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Response to southmost (Reply #7)

Sat Jun 18, 2016, 07:13 PM

15. He might be going against the Fair Housing Act if he tries to ban service animals n/t

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Response to southmost (Reply #7)

Sat Jun 18, 2016, 07:23 PM

18. The OP stated there is no lease.

He originally signed a 12 month lease but that was long ago. legally he now has a month to month lease and either side can vacate or evict with 30 days notice.

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Response to former9thward (Reply #18)

Mon Jun 20, 2016, 08:04 PM

34. He gave me one today. :/ nt

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Response to Quackers (Reply #34)

Mon Jun 20, 2016, 08:16 PM

41. Hope everything works out.

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Response to Quackers (Original post)

Sat Jun 18, 2016, 07:18 PM

16. A service dog exceeds all other laws

They are ABSOLUTELY allowed in taverns and apartments

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Response to yourpaljoey (Reply #16)

Mon Jun 20, 2016, 08:05 PM

35. I think he is doing a back-door eviction by saying my carpet had stains. But he said

Some other stuff about my disability too.

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Response to Quackers (Original post)

Sat Jun 18, 2016, 07:29 PM

19. Call the state Attorney General's office

There are federal and state guidelines regarding discrimination.

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Response to Quackers (Original post)

Sat Jun 18, 2016, 08:25 PM

21. IANAL but,

I suspect that without a lease, it is a month to month rental. If so, then typically, you can vacate with 30 days notice and he can evict with 30 days notice, with no need to explain why.
But absolutely check with an attorney for the laws in Ohio.

If he hasn't done any painting or new carpets for 8-10 years he is going to have some significant expenses if he evicts you and look to rent to someone else. Your attorney might be able to point that out to him.

Good luck!

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Response to Stonepounder (Reply #21)

Mon Jun 20, 2016, 08:06 PM

36. I received my notice to evict today. nt

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Response to Quackers (Original post)

Sat Jun 18, 2016, 08:57 PM

22. If you are on a 30 day notice by either party to end lease

 

than he can end lease with 30 day notice and no reason need be given.

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Response to Quackers (Original post)

Sat Jun 18, 2016, 09:02 PM

24. Contact the Ohio Poverty Law Center or Ohio Legal Aid

This is a Ohio Poverty Law Center publication: LANDLORD-TENANT LAW: What You Should Know!

That has a lot of the information you need to know.

Also, for help find your Ohio Legal Aid office online at http://www.ohiolegalservices.org/programs, or call 1-866-LAW-OHIO (1-866-529-6446).

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Response to Quackers (Original post)

Sat Jun 18, 2016, 09:28 PM

26. I'm not clear on the notification you gave.

It's clear to you. He probably received it. But get a copy of the doctor's note and proof that the pooch is being service trained and have it sent to him certified. Get that signature showing that he received it, with a time and date.

With those two things include a letter saying what they are, and state that you sent him a copy before (print out email and include it) and in the body of the letter include the address you sent it to, the date, and summary of the contents. Place it on him to deny that he got it, when faced with the printout of the email. Alternatively, there may be some error so that he never did get it and he assumes that you are milking your disability.

Remove that option. The fastest way to make an asshole into an enemy is to treat him like one by assuming ill will when he may just be an asshole.

I'm going to assume that if he's been a landlord for more than a year or two (and he has) he's run into people who violate their lease and have all kinds of creative and interesting reasons for it, but are just playing to see how much they can get by with.

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Response to Quackers (Original post)

Sat Jun 18, 2016, 09:45 PM

27. A service dog in training is not considered a service dog by the ADA

 

That us federal law as far as taking the dog into public places.

Depending on state law and a few other factors your landlord might have a case.

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Response to Travis_0004 (Reply #27)

Mon Jun 20, 2016, 08:09 PM

37. A handful of states, Ohio included, extend state law to cover SD in training as service dogs.

In addition, I also have documentation protecting him as an emotional support animal. nt

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Response to Quackers (Original post)

Sat Jun 18, 2016, 10:17 PM

29. As several others have already said,

 

you need to find out exactly what the landlord/tenant laws are where you are. Many of them are local/municipal/city laws.

And now that you are on month-to-month, many of the conditions of your lease may no longer apply.

As someone else has pointed out, a service dog in training is not yet a certified service dog. You do need to gather all of the documentation around your need for this dog. Sending him an email was not the best way to notify him. Regular mail, or better yet certified mail might be better, and you could still send him that documentation by certified mail.

Here's something else you want to think about: if he's behaving this way do you really want to stay? A landlord can make your life hell. I know that moving is not fun and often a huge hassle, but it might be the best thing.

And your disability does not give you blanket immunity from keeping your side of the renter/landlord agreement. I know that sounds harsh, but it's true.

His coming by every month is problematical, dog or no dog. Does he give you advance notice? In most jurisdictions he needs to. Of course if he does give the notice, you are the renter, and you must allow him reasonable access to your place.

Again, you need to find out exactly what the relevant laws are where you live. Some cities have something on the order of an ombudsman who deals with these things.

Good luck to you and keep us posted.

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Response to Quackers (Original post)

Sat Jun 18, 2016, 10:18 PM

30. Go to the library or a bookstore and get a book on landlord/tenant law in your state pronto.

Call legal aid too, but honestly they're usually useless and slow so don't count on that.

Document the condition of the place yourself. Take pictures with a copy of the current paper to verify the date.

Double check what the local rules are for notice of an inspection. It doesn't *sound* valid but I have no blessed idea about Ohio.

Security cameras are cheap these days. If he's going to show up and be a shouty weirdo investing in one would be a really good idea. In a pinch you can even use an old smartphone. http://fieldguide.gizmodo.com/how-to-turn-an-old-smartphone-into-a-home-security-came-1765700271

edit: Specific Ohio service animal info here: http://www.disabilityrightsohio.org/service-animals

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Response to Quackers (Original post)

Sat Jun 18, 2016, 10:52 PM

31. It gets to the point of why would you want to fight for a place where you rent not own a not wanted.

Why would your wife call 911? Was there an emergency? Your landlord isn't allowed to just show up and demand entrance to begin with. Wall to wall carpeting is always a disaster. Just replace it after you leave. It's just going to get messed up again by life before you move out. Yes it's the dog btw and would think its legally in your right to have a dog for disability but not sure when you rent you rent and may have to play by their rules.

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Response to Biaviians (Reply #31)

Mon Jun 20, 2016, 08:11 PM

38. I think she called because he started yelling at her/daring her to call

Plus he had the kids scared.

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Response to Quackers (Original post)

Sat Jun 18, 2016, 10:56 PM

32. What state are you in? What are terms of your lease?

 

Seek counsel.

But kniw the law and courts...favor landlords

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Response to Quackers (Original post)

Sun Jun 19, 2016, 02:31 AM

33. I just had a motion detector camera installed that turns on and records all activity in my backyard

My neighbors and I have had some incidents with prowlers breaking into our sheds and peeking into our windows.

My brother installed it and told me I had to post signs in my windows THIS PROPERTY IS PROTECTED BY SURVEILLANCE TECHNOLOGY. He said it was the law in the State of Maryland. I noticed your mention of cameras and you might want to find out (quietly) if your state has the same law.

I think you are being discriminated against. You might want to check with the Americans with Disabilities Act personnel. I found this link which has a number you can call to ask questions:

https://adata.org/technical-assistance (Ask ADA Questions) but you can also email them.

You might also want to check with the landlord/tenant organization which covers your area and ask them your questions. On the other hand, you might prefer other sources.

If you are a veteran, you might want to check with the Veteran's Association. The Justice Department covers discrimination because of a disability.

Good luck to you.

Sam



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Response to Samantha (Reply #33)

Mon Jun 20, 2016, 08:13 PM

39. I think in Ohio, you are legally allowed to record someone without their knowledge in

Public and on your private property. I'll double check.

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Response to Quackers (Original post)

Mon Jun 20, 2016, 08:16 PM

40. If you haven't already, talk to a lawyer in this field.

 

Do that first thing tomorrow. Know your rights for sure and what the prospects are for winning a case. Then you can make appropriate decisions.

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #40)

Mon Jun 20, 2016, 08:25 PM

42. Will do

The people I talked to today were very concerned with the statements he made.

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