NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The federal housing department has filed civil charges against a New York City landlord accused of trying to evict a disabled mother and daughter from their apartment for keeping a service dog.

The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development announced housing discrimination charges against Hamid Nezaj, with Dardania Properties on Monday, WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported.

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HUD claims the landlord was initially OK with the disabled pair’s German Shepard – named Lenox – but then later said the dog couldn’t stay and began eviction proceedings.

The Fair Housing Act requires landlords to waive “no-pets” policies and make other reasonable accommodations for disabled people.

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“It could fetch and retrieve things for the mother, who has physical disabilities. And then the daughter, like the mother, supplied doctor’s notes stating that the dog helped her deal with emotional issues,” said Bryan Greene, acting assistant secretary in HUD’s Office of Fair Housing.  “The landlord as of the date of the charge is still trying to evict the family. This time of year, when you think of this thing happening, it’s really a shame.”

The landlord could face fines and damages if a judge finds discrimination did occur.

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