Woman Denied Carteret, New Jersey Housing Over Emotional Support Pit Bull

CARTERET — A trailer park owner won’t sell a home to a couple because of the breed of the woman’s emotional support animal, according to his real estate agent.

Melissa Sokolow told New Jersey 101.5 that she was the agent for the mother and father, who are in their early 20s and have a 1.5-year-old child.

She said Georgen Benhardt, the owner of Tower Trailer Park in Carteret, would not sell a house to the family. Benhardt doesn’t want to be responsible for the pit bull and the woman’s emotional support, Sokolow said.

The trailer park told New Jersey 101.5 that its pet policy allows one pet per household weighing 25 pounds or less. Benhardt, however, reportedly said she would be okay with a support animal over that limit if it was a different breed, such as a golden retriever, according to Sokolow.

The house for sale at Tower Trailer Park. (Google Maps)

The house for sale at Tower Trailer Park. (Google Maps)

Regardless, Sokolow said the pit bull was prescribed by a doctor for the mother’s disability. And under New Jersey Anti-Discrimination Actprescribed emotional support animals are not considered pets and are therefore exempt from most pet policies.

Sokolow said his clients, who can afford to pay cash for the $40,000 house they want, face housing discrimination. She filed a complaint with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development for the denial.

Animal Rules and Complaints Assistant

In 2020, HUD released a Service Animal Reviews stating that complaints involving service animals have increased dramatically in recent years. A fact sheet Distilling the information in the notice, a person cannot be ruled out for having a legitimate service animal.

“Housing providers cannot exclude or charge a fee or deposit for service animals because these animals perform an important function that people with disabilities that affect major life activities need to have equal opportunities in life. housing,” the fact sheet reads.

A general inquiry email for Tower Trailer Park responded to a query about the park’s pet policy, but did not respond to a request for comment. Benhardt did not return a phone call Tuesday.

Rick Rickman is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at [email protected]

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