Fair Housing

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Casual Statements Can be Deemed Discriminatory

Leasing staff and others working at apartment communities should be warned about making small talk with applicants at their properties. A Massachusetts real estate broker recently learned the hard way that even a casual remark – with no ill intent…

Hoarding is Now Considered a Disability

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has recently announced that compulsive hoarding is now considered a mental disability, and is therefore protected under the nation’s various disability related laws; this includes the fair housing laws under The Civil Rights Act of…

DOJ Aggressively Pursuing Accessibility Cases

On February 24, 2014, the Department of Justice announced that a federal district court in Jackson, MS approved a settlement of a DOJ lawsuit against the original owners and developers of nine apartment complexes in Mississippi, Louisiana and Tennessee. The…

Domestic Violence Policies

Public housing and assisted housing communities (as well as Low-Income Housing Tax Credit [LIHTC] projects) are subject to the requirements of the Violence Against Women’s Act (VAWA). HUD is currently developing regulations to implement the VAWA provisions passed into law…

Fair Housing Reminders During the Holidays

As we approach the holiday season, it is important to remember the fair housing prohibition against discrimination on the basis of religion. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being festive during the holidays. Seasonal decorations do not have to be…

Senate Bill Amending the Fair Housing Act Introduced

S. 1242, A Bill to Amend the Fair Housing Act, and for Other Purposes, was introduced in the Senate on June 27, 2013, and was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. The short title of the bill is “Housing Opportunities…

HUD Provides Updated Guidance Regarding Assistance Animals

HUD Issues Notice Clarifying Service Animal Issues   On April 25, 2013, HUD issues FHEO Notice 2013-01, Service Animals and Assistance Animals for People with Disabilities in Housing and HUD-Funded Programs. This notice provides additional clarification of housing provider obligations…

HUD Creates Fair Housing App for iPhone and iPad

            On February 28, 2013, HUD released a housing discrimination mobile application for iPhone and iPad. The App is designed to provide the public with a quick and easy way to file housing discrimination complaints and…

Age Verification Requirements for Senior Properties

On February 13, 2013, HUD announced that a homeowners association and managers  in Edina, MN will pay more than $40,000 under a Consent Order for refusing to allow children under the age of 18 to live at the property.  HUD…

HUD Publishes Final Rule on Fair Housing Disparate Impact

 On February 15, 2013, HUD published a final rule in the Federal Register (78 Fed. Reg. 11460) regarding disparate impact liability under federal fair housing law.  Disparate impact is the theory of fair housing law that asserts that certain policies…

Avoid Lease Addendums Regarding Second Hand Smoke

In Upper East Lease Assoc, LLC v. Cannon, January 2011, an owner sued a resident for unpaid rent. The resident claimed that the owner had violated the warranty of habitability by allowing secondhand smoke to infiltrate from a downstairs neighbor.…
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