Veteran claims landlord is kicking him out due to service dog

CHICAGO (FOX 32 WFLD)- An Iraqi war veteran believes he's a victim of housing discrimination.

Jon Jans said the apartment complex where he's lived for several years now wants him out because he owns a service dog.

But his landlord in South Suburban Oak Forest said Jon has nobody to blame but himself, and his dog.

"Disappointing. Disgusting. I don't know the right word," said Jon.

The signs outside Manchester Court calls it, "An exceptional place to call home."

And for the last four years, Jon and his family have called it home. But on Monday, they received a letter telling them that when their lease expires in 60 days, they have to move out. No reason was given.

Jon and his wife believe it's because they own a dog, a service dog, named Alli.

"There's no other explanation for this," Jillian said.

Jon has a service dog because of the serious brain injuries he suffered while with the Marines in Iraq. He was injured by a roadside bomb.

"We had a lot of suicide bombers, and I don't do well in crowds or big groups of people, and that's one of the big things she helps me with. To go out," Jon said.

"She's been a godsend. He was on 18 medications when he got out of the Marine Corps. He was on nine when we first got her. He's on six now. So that's a huge difference," Jillian said.

Manchester Court has a "no dogs" policy. The signs, though, do say that service dogs are an exception.

But the Jans say that in recent months, a new property manager appeared to disapprove of their dog.

FOX 32 spoke with the property manager who said she can't discuss anything involving tenants, and she would not say why the Jans have been told to move out.

But if the Jans believe it's because of their dog, they may be right, but for the wrong reason.

A Manchester Courts Supervisor told FOX 32 the following in an email:

"...maintenance technicians have seen dog feces and smelled dog urine in the Jans apartment on multiple occasions."

She said despite multiple warnings, "This Jans family continued to let their dog out unleashed and unsupervised to defecate as it pleased."

And as to service dogs in general, she said, "Manchester Court is and has been compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and welcomes everyone to the property."

The Jans, though, insist they clean up after their dog and received few complaints at Manchester Court or elsewhere.

"I have never had a problem with this dog once. Inside or outside of any establishment," Jon said.

He believes his landlord has violated his rights and he's talking to lawyers about his next move.