Fair Housing

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Boards Have a New Obligation to Stop Discrimination

The Fair Housing Act protects people from discrimination. HOAs are “housing providers” under the Act – they may not discriminate against certain classes of people. Associations who do discriminate risk lawsuits and large fines.  Few associations discriminate on purpose, but

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Attorney files 60 almost identical discrimination lawsuits against Florida home rental owners

An extra way to make cash, could end up costing you. As home rental sites become more popular, a Contact 5 investigation found you could end up slapped with a federal lawsuit, paying thousands of dollars, for what you advertise.

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Planning for Special Needs Children

Many families in our community have children or loved ones with developmental disabilities or special needs. Families often assume that they can continue to care for their loved ones in perpetuity. The reality is that once a child turns 18

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Avoiding Discrimination and Its Legal Consequences: The Power of Equality

Despite the fact that most people would agree that discrimination is a bad thing, discrimination persists, which suggests either that existing laws against it are sometimes ignored, or that the legal definition of ‘discrimination’ isn’t always clear. Fortunately, when it

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Quadriplegic resident may be entitled to bypass rules

Question: My husband and I, and our 38-year-old quadriplegic daughter, live in a condominium single-family home park. For years, we have been bringing a cargo trailer with us to house our daughter’s medical equipment, as well as to store most

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Judge rules for family in suit against Keizer HOA (OR)

A federal judge has ruled that a Keizer homeowners’ association violated state and federal fair housing laws by not accommodating a family of former residents of McNary Estates, whose daughter has multiple disabilities.  Gary and Renee Kuhn bought a home

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Can I serve on the board if my name is not on the deed?

Q: My wife and I took title to our condominium unit in my wife’s name for estate planning purposes based on our estate planning attorney’s advice. Now the board is telling me that I am not eligible to serve on

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Investigating How Reasonable Accommodation Requests Are (MA)

Condo associations deal with a variety of requests from their residents on a daily basis. In most cases, the association can easily decide whether or not to grant the request based on the cost, feasibility and necessity when it comes

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I think I was turned down by a co-op based on my race. What do I do? (NY)

If you think you have a discrimination case on your hands, the key to success will be proving that the board rejected you for discriminatory reasons, says Steven Wagner, a co-op and condo attorney with Wagner Berkow LLP and a

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Feds: Condo Must Allow Disabled Student’s School Bus On Property

The mother of a teenager with medical and behavioral disabilities knew something was wrong when the board at her condo complex on the Berlin Turnpike voted to ban school buses from coming on the property.  She has lived at Parkridge

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Disabled adults meet definition of family, says lawyer defending them in Forks zoning hearing (PA)

Two adults with disabilities living in a Forks Township condo have a right to remain in their home without seeking a special exception under the zoning code, an attorney will argue Monday night in a case that, he says, has

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Judge won’t force condo association to allow woman to rent condo as ‘reasonable accommodation’ (IL)

A 94-year-old Oak Park woman could not get a federal judge on her side in a dispute with her condo association, who she says owes her the right, under federal law, to rent her condo while she undergoes medical treatments,

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New Fair Housing Rule: Boards Must be Proactive in Addressing Harassment of Residents

In multi-family housing, disputes among neighbors are inevitable. Many times the disputes are minor and can be resolved by the quarreling neighbors without board intervention. Other times, the disputes get personal, linger on for weeks, months, or longer, and have

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U.S Community Associations May Be Liable for Harassment by Residents Against Other Residents

Changes to the Fair Housing Act (“FHA”) in the United States could impose liability on community associations (i.e. condominiums) for the discriminatory actions of residents against other residents. The FHA prohibits discrimination and harassment because of race, colour, religion, sex,

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New FHA Harassment Rule & Policy Recommendation

On October 14, 2016, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) new rule on quid pro quo and hostile environment housing practices under the Fair Housing Act (FHA) goes into effect. This new rule creates liability for housing

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HOA lawsuit rachets up (OR)

A lawsuit filed against the McNary Estates Homeowners Association (HOA) citing violation of state and federal fair housing laws has escalated to a new level.  The HOA refused to provide accommodations for a family with a disabled daughter in 2015

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New Fair Housing Act Regulations Become Effective October 14, 2016

Last week, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released final regulations related to quid pro quo and hostile environment housing claims under the Fair Housing Act. Some of the new regulations which go into effect on October

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New FHA Rules to Create New Association Duties

On September 13, HUD released new rules for the Fair Housing Act (FHA) that will impact community associations. Under these new rules, which take effect on October 14, 2016, a community association could face liability for the discriminatory acts of

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Quid Pro Quo and Hostile Environment Harassment and Liability for Discriminatory Housing Practices Under the Fair Housing Act

This final rule amends HUD’s fair housing regulations to formalize standards for use in investigations and adjudications involving allegations of harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, familial status, or disability. The rule specifies how HUD

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Beach Condo Sued by Woman in Wheelchair for FHA Discrimination

All was well until board members on a Miami Beach condominium association saw her in person, according to a discrimination lawsuit by a woman who uses a wheelchair.  Rachel Siler, 31, said she got a rude awakening after traveling from

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Accommodating Requests for Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals in your Community

Many community associations are presented with requests for accommodating service animals and emotional support animals. It can be difficult to navigate through the various laws. There are specific obligations required of housing providers under the Fair Housing Act (“FHA”) and,

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Avoiding Discrimination Under the Fair Housing Act

Your condo association would never dream of turning away potential condo owners based on their race, religion, or familial status, but did you know your pool rules could put you in violation of the Fair Housing Act (FHA)?   Read the

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HUD Reaches Agreement With Florida Condo Association in Disability Discrimination Case

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today an agreement with Delvista Towers Condominium Association, Inc., of Aventura, Florida, and its property management company, resolving allegations of housing discrimination against residents with disabilities. HUD claimed the condo

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Home Owners Associations: Beware of the Fair Housing Act When Enforcing Pet Prohibitions and Restrictions

Associations have restrictions that either prohibit or limit the number, size, and type of pets that can be kept within the community. In general, as long as a restriction prohibiting or limiting pets is clearly drafted, the North Carolina courts

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Home Owners Associations: Beware of the Fair Housing Act When Enforcing Pet Prohibitions and Restrictions

Many planned communities, townhome communities, and condominiums (collectively, “Associations” since they are nearly universally governed by one) have restrictions that either prohibit or limit the number, size, and type of pets that can be kept within the community. In general,

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(Condo Act:) Modifications and Improvements to Protect Persons With Disabilities

Persons with disabilities who reside in condominiums have several statutory protections available to them designed to prevent discrimination against the disabled. These protections include the federal Fair Housing Amendments Act (“FHAA”), 42 USC 3604, and its Michigan equivalent contained in

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What Community Associations Should Know About the Fair Housing Act and its Impact on Pool Rules and Regulations

With the summer heat wave in full force, it is nice to enjoy a refreshing dip in the pool to cool down. Also, pools are not only good for cooling down but also provide numerous other benefits, including family time

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CA: SB 269: State Changes ADA Issues, but National Still at Issue

In 2012, the California legislature was incensed by unprovoked attacks on small commercial operations by drive-by “disability activists” who, after eye-balling the complex for ADA violations would sue, and then settle for attorney fees and a few dollars more. In

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Age restrictions at condos get associations sued

“Condominium” is not an old Latin word for “quiet” or “kids free.” Unfortunately, too many associations think this is the correct translation. So, they make rules that directly or indirectly bar children from living at condo associations. And your association

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Regulating Fun: Can an Association Prevent Children From Playing Outdoors?

In July of 2011, the Greenbrier Village Homeowner’s Association of Minnetonka adopted rules and regulations which banned playing, picnicking, and sunbathing on lawns, sidewalks, landscaped areas, and parking areas. The rules also prohibited riding bikes, scooters, rollerblades, skateboards, and more

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Hartville (OH) condo developers settle Fair Housing complaint

A Hartville developer and Minerva architect have agreed to pay $160,000 to resolve allegations that they violated the Fair Housing Act related to the design and construction of two condominium complexes in Hartville, according to the Justice Department.     Read

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HUD Restrictions on Criminal Background Checks May Affect Condominium Sex Offender Bans

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has issued guidance restricting the use of criminal background checks to screen prospective residents. The guidance warns property owners that a blanket policy rejecting residents solely because they have a criminal record

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Disabled Man Says Condo Board Discriminated (VA)

A Virginia man whose neurological condition has rendered him progressively more disabled man claims in court his condo association unlawfully refused to renew his lease.    Read the article………..

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HUD’S Fair Housing Decision Upheld by First Circuit Court of Appeals

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced today that it has won an important Fair Housing Act victory in the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. The decision upheld a Final Order of the Secretary

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Man claims HOA is violating Fair Housing Act (PA)

A man is suing his homeowners association, claiming an overly determined board of directors is improperly restricting him as he proposes widening his driveway for his disabled father.   Read the article…………….

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Pool Rules – A Confusing World

With warmer weather, we’re getting our usual barrage of pool questions. Many deal with appropriate pool rules and pool signs. Without question, pool issues are one of the more confusing areas of our practice in that there are few absolutes.

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Federal lawsuit against Andover Forest Neighborhood Association (KY) dismissed

Attorneys have agreed to dismiss a two-year old federal lawsuit filed against a Lexington neighborhood association, alleging it discriminated and retaliated against a family who built a therapeutic playhouse for their son who has cerebral palsy.  Read the article……….

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Memo clarifies ADA

Q: We live in a villa home. Our community has a private golf course and similar recreational facilities. Our local association has a “no pet rule.” We are told that the ADA requires us to permit pets even if we

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HUD’s Proposed Harassment Rule Would Be Painful for Condo Associations

The department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has offered that assurance for regulations the agency has proposed, clarifying the standards for assessing harassment claims under the Fair Housing Act.   Read the article………

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Oak Park (IL) woman says disability accommodation laws require association to let her rent her condo

A 94-year-old Oak Park woman has asked a federal judge to order the association that manages her condominium building to allow her to rent her condo temporarily to allow her to use the rental income to offset her medical expenses,

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$9K settlement in Sullivan racial discrimination complaint (NY)

A homeowners association will pay a resident $9,000 to settle the racial discrimination complaint she filed against them, according to a proposed settlement filed by the state Division of Human Rights.    Read the article………..

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Parents sue homeowners association that wouldn’t let them park RV to help daughter with diarrhea (OR)

The parents of a severely disabled woman are suing their former homeowners association — after the association refused to allow them to use their driveway to park a motor home they bought to transport their daughter to medical appointments.  

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How Can You Accommodate the Disabled During Capital Work? (NY)

A collection of issues – a disability discrimination claim with facts that were sharply in dispute, an elevator project that shut down one of the building’s two elevators for an extended period, a proprietary lease provision that was less than

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(Disaster Preparedness for) Individuals with Disabilities and Others with Access and Functional Needs

How might a disaster affect me? What are my personal needs during a disaster? By evaluating your own individual needs and making an emergency plan that ?ts those needs, you and your loved ones can be better prepared.  Here are

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Condo demands disabled man pay for closer parking: lawsuit (NY)

A disabled upstate man who requested a parking spot closer to his apartment claims in a Manhattan lawsuit that his condo complex asked him to pay to renumber the spaces instead of approving a simple switch.   Read the article………….

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TriBeCa (NY) Condo Board Discriminates Against Chinese Resident, State Says

A TriBeCa condo board has barraged one of its residents with racist comments, unlawfully trying to push her out of the building because she is Chinese, according to a lawsuit filed by the state.    Read the article………..

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Do Your Rules Violate Fair Housing?

It’s not uncommon for homeowner associations to adopt rules that violate federal and state fair housing laws, or the Fair Housing Act (the “FHA”). Violations of the FHA can bring severe penalties, as demonstrated in a recent case where an

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Federal lawsuit against Gold Coast (IL) condo may continue, judge rules

A hearing impaired unit owner’s lawsuit against a Gold Coast condominium association – accused of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation – may continue, a federal judge has ruled.  Read the article…………

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Man says elevator in building shut down, trapping him in downtown condo (IN)

Using the elevator in the building where Greg Bedan lives has been something of a gamble lately.  “It’s been touch and go absolutely,” said Baden. “You’re not even sure if it’s going to be working.”  That’s a real problem for

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