Fair Housing

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Ruling Illustrates Unpredictability of Fair Housing Litigation for Associations

The appellate panel of the First District Court of Appeal was divided in its recent ruling involving a Fair Housing Act discrimination complaint by a wheelchair-bound unit owner against his condominium association. The majority and dissenting opinions in the case

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Augusta condo association ‘stunned’ by police chief’s claim of discrimination (ME)

Augusta Police Chief Robert Gregoire, who uses a wheelchair, alleged he was a victim of disability discrimination because his street was not plowed immediately after a big storm, but the Maine Human Rights Commission voted Monday to find no reasonable

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One Toke Over the Line – Smoking, Medical Marijuana and Fair Housing Laws

Medical marijuana can now be legally prescribed in Florida, and the legislature continues to struggle with regulation of dispensaries in the State. Meanwhile, prescriptions can be filled in other States, for edible medical marijuana as well as the processed plant

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Fair housing and common interest communities

Compared to other types of housing, condominiums may seem a horse of another color, with their common-interest community assessments, shared facilities and governing association boards. Nonetheless, state and federal fair housing laws apply as much to condo owners, managers and

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HOA Homefront: When laws collide: Child safety or discrimination?

Common interest development associations (aka “HOAs”) are governed by both state and federal Fair Housing laws. Fair Housing laws prohibit “familial status” discrimination, which means singling out children for any disparate treatment. (This prohibition exempts senior communities, which are exempted

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Third Circuit: neighbors who criticized condo residents over emotional support dogs must face civil rights suit

In blog posts and comments, two residents of a Virgin Islands condominium complex criticized two other residents who were (in line with rights prescribed to them under federal law) keeping emotional-support dogs despite a no-dog rule in the complex. Among

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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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What’s the Fair Housing Act?

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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What Community Associations Should Know About the Fair Housing Act

Community association board members and managers are often so preoccupied ensuring compliance with state and local laws that they can sometimes overlook controlling federal law. Multiple federal statutory acts can apply to community associations in any given situation and overlooking

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Can Blogging Violate the Fair Housing Act?–Revock v. Cowpet Bay West Condo Ass’n

This case is a collision between dogs as emotional support animals and a “no dogs” condominium association rule. The civil rights implications of a “no pets” rule are pretty obvious; such a rule can exclude the disabled. At the same

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When Does the Americans With Disabilities Act Apply to Community Associations?

Community association board members and managers are often so preoccupied ensuring compliance with state and local laws that they can sometimes overlook controlling federal law. Multiple federal statutory acts can apply to community associations in any given situation and overlooking

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Mount Kisco Condo Complex’s Development Team Sued Over Handicap Access (NY)

The developer, architectural firm and construction company behind the Sutton Manor condominium complex are being sued by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara for allegedly failing to provide access for handicapped people.   Read the article………….

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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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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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