Briefly: Landlord Fined $25,000 for Trying to Evict HIV Patient’s 'Emotional Support' Dog

April 5, 2011 - 8:16 AM

From The Boston Globe: The landlords of a Brighton apartment building have been ordered to pay $25,000 to a tenant with HIV/AIDS for trying to force the man to get rid of the dog he says he needs to boost his health.

The complainant, Richard M. Blake, was diagnosed with HIV infection more than two decades ago. “He was depressed, basically lounging around the apartment all day long, and his weight rose and blood pressure got out of control,” said the general counsel for the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts was quoted as saying.

His doctor recommended a “support dog” to improve his mental and physical health. Blake said his landlord gave him permission to get the dog, but two months later tenants were notified that a no-pet policy in their leases would be enforced.

After unsuccessful attempts to get the landlords to accommodate his disability, Blake filed a complaint in December 2008 with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, and the panel ruled in his favor last week. The landlord plans to appeal.

See Newspaper Roundup and Boston Globe article