- Co-op buildings are buildings where tenants are shareholders of the building. Co-ops are run by the Co-op Board the owners and tenants must follow building rules.
- New York State prohibits apartments, condos, and co-ops from denying an applicant due to age, sex, religion, race, disability, etc.
- Emotional support animals and their owners are protected by the Fair Housing Act (this always overrules Co-op rules).
- You must have an ESA letter in order to live in a no-pets building with your Emotional Support Animal.
- If you are turned away from an apartment, condo, or co-op for having an ESA, you can fight for your rights.
Co-ops, or cooperatives, are apartment buildings owned by a corporation, where residents buy shares to a particular apartment. These shares entitle the purchaser to a long term proprietary lease for the space. These cooperative buildings have their own Co-op Board of Directors, who follow internal laws set forth by federal regulations. Because owners can be both shareholders and tenants, issues faced can be complicated to handle because of how the Board of Directors can mainly be a third party in dispute matters. However, because they are required to follow federal regulations, a tenant or shareholder with a disability can reference federal rules in cases of discrimination.
What Do New York State housing laws state about discrimination?
According to the NYS Fair Housing Guide, discriminating against a person with a disability because of their need to use an emotional support animal in order to enjoy their apartment complex is prohibited by law. This law is the New York State Human Rights Law, which prohibits housing discrimination based off of race, creed, national origin, sex, age, marital status, military status, family status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability. Because of the NYS Human Rights Law, these laws apply to all types of housing, including, but not limited to, public housing, condominiums, cooperatives, and rental apartments.