Plaintiff, Cohen (“Tenant”) and Defendant, Clark (another tenant, “Clark”) leased separate apartments in the same building on the same day, July 21, 2006. Both leases prohibited pets in the building or on the premises. Tenant picked the apartment in part because of its no pet policy, as she had a severe allergy to pet dander that caused her to carry an EpiPen to protect against anaphylactic shock. A month after entering into the lease, Clark requested an emotional support dog as a reasonable accommodation. Clark provided the landlord with a letter from his psychiatrist stating that he had mental illness that impaired his ability to function. The psychiatrist recommended that for his well-being he own and care for a dog. The manager advised the tenants of the request and asked if any had allergies. Tenant responded providing detailed information relative to her pet allergy. The manager contacted the Iowa Civil Rights Commission (“ICRC”) and requested it to review the matter. “The ICRC’s housing provision is nearly identical to the Federal Fair Housing Act (FHA).” The ICRC told the manager that Clark could not be moved to another building as that was unreasonable and that the manager had to attempt to accommodate both issues (Clark’s pet and the Tenant’s allergy). The manager had them use separate stairwells. Tenant had allergic reactions such that she seemed to have a permanent cold and her throat swelled at times.
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