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Woman sues over landlord's dog policies

A Bethel Park woman sued her landlord late Friday, alleging that she was denied her right to an emotional support dog at a Shadyside complex, and was not fully accommodated when she moved to the suburbs.

Victoria Immel, 22, suffers from general anxiety disorder and "requires the use of an emotional support dog to mitigate these symptoms, as prescribed by her licensed therapist," according to the lawsuit in U.S. District Court.

From 2012 through early 2016, she lived in a Fifth Avenue building owned and managed by Amore Limited Partnership, Amore Management Co., and related firms, according to the complaint.

In late 2015, Ms. Immel got an emotional support dog, but Amore refused to allow it in the apartment building, so it stayed with her mother in Ohio, she alleges. In June, she moved to the Lindenbrooke complex in Bethel Park, which allows pets, but the dog is still "prohibited from being with her in the common areas" there, according to the complaint.

The Fair Housing Partnership of Greater Pittsburgh sent test renters to Amore, which showed "that Amore’s corporate office ultimately does not grant reasonable accommodation requests for emotional support animals," according to the complaint. The partnership is a plaintiff in the case with Ms. Immel.

Ms. Immel suffers "humiliation, embarrassment, emotional distress, anxiety, stress, and a deprivation of her right to equal housing opportunities," due to Amore's violations of the Fair Housing Act, the lawsuit alleges, demanding change to the company's policies, plus compensatory and punitive damages.  Source