Fair Housing

Back to homepage

Fremont Condo That Didn’t Allow Kids To Play Outside Must Rescind Rule, Pay Tenants $800K (CA)

Families in Fremont have scored a huge legal victory after they sued their condo complex because it wouldn’t let their kids play outside.  For years, kids were not allowed to play outside in the gated complex located on Sequim Common,

Read More

Florida Takes First Step in Curbing Frivolous ADA Lawsuits by Allowing ADA Qualified Expert Reporting

The Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) was enacted by Congress in 1990 to protect individuals with disabilities from discrimination in access to employment, governmental services and programs, public accommodations, transportation, and telecommunications. As stated in the law, the ADA is

Read More

Baca POA notified of cease and desist action (CO)

A Baca Grande Property Owners Association (BGPOA) member served a cease and desist letter to the homeowners association dated Oct. 16 alleging conflicts of interest involving the POA board and several violations of the Equal Housing Opportunity Act.   Bayardo Reno

Read More

Can Your Homeowners Association Handle The Fair Housing Act?

As one of the touchier subjects in residential housing, the Fair Housing Act has a huge effect on community association management and homeowners associations. See IKO Community Management’s breakdown:   Read the article…………….

Read More

Restrictions on bathrooms could lead to violation

Q: One member of our condominium association’s board of directors wants to adopt a rule for our clubhouse bathrooms saying that you can only use the bathroom that corresponds to the gender on your birth certificate. He’s been going door

Read More

Must communities retrofit for handicap accommodation

The question often arises as to whether condominium, cooperative and homeowners’ associations need to install wheelchair ramps, elevator or swimming pool lifts or redo common area bathrooms to accommodate handicap persons.  The general answer is that associations may have to

Read More

Addressing Harassment Issues in Community Associations

As is well understood, Community Association Boards are elected to manage the property, affairs, and business of the Association. The Board has the power to enforce obligations of the unit owners and do what is necessary and proper for the

Read More

Housing Discrimination: Who’s Protected? Protected Groups That Buildings Need to Know

In this series, The Cooperator has examined discrimination laws in relation to multifamily buildings. Among the issues we’ve covered included people with physical and mental disabilities. A disability is just part of the general housing protections that people in New

Read More

Fair Housing Claim Against Homeowner Association Director Allowed by District of Columbia Appeals Court

The District of Columbia Court of Appeals has ruled that a board member of a homeowners association may be personally liable for violating the disability discrimination provisions of the fair housing laws by delaying action on a homeowner’s request for

Read More

Only in Brooklyn: Discrimination Against Baby Strollers (NY)

A couple bought into a co-op in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, a month ago, and promptly began putting their baby in a stroller and exiting and re-entering the building through the front door. Then one day, an employee of the managing

Read More

Dog Days of Summer

With the mercury hitting record highs this week, I look out my office window and dream of jumping into a nice cool pool. As a community association attorney, my brain automatically shifts from recreation to work mode. I recently helped

Read More

HUD Releases Final Rule Related to Discrimination in Community Associations

In September 2016, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) released final regulations relating to housing discrimination, which now require community associations to investigate claims of harassment by one resident of another resident who is a member of

Read More

Headstrong HOA Board Member Puts Himself in Harm’s Way Over Fair Housing Issues

In a recent case decided by the D.C. Court of Appeals, the court heard a matter involving the intersection between community association governance and fair housing law. In this case, Wilfred Welsh, a board member of the Chaplin Woods Homeowners

Read More

Rental Applications: Can rejecting a tenant based criminal background lead to a HUD complaint?

If an association has the right to deny rental applications and it does so based on an applicant’s criminal background, the association should review whether its policies, procedures and practices may lead to claims of discrimination. The Fair Housing Act

Read More

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? Fair Housing in Your Community Association.

When a board member or community manager hears the phrase “fair housing”, many thoughts come to mind regarding what this means, and how it may impact their association, but, more often than not, their perceptions are based on historical misinformation

Read More

Co-op and Management Company Fined $125,000 for Discrimination (NY)

In a chilling reminder of the high cost of flouting the Fair Housing Act, a Westchester County co-op and its management company have agreed in federal court to pay $125,000 in compensatory damages and attorney’s fees to an applicant who

Read More

The Future of Fair Housing in Community Associations (CA)

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) Fair Employment and Housing Council (Council) has been engaged in a historic rulemaking process to draft and promulgate Housing Regulations for the first time. To date, the Council has been working

Read More

Pool Guidelines

Time to cool down and make a splash! Summer means pool time for many community associations. Are your pool guidelines in line with the Fair Housing Act (FHA)? Check the FHA blog for specifics:   Read the article…………..     Read the

Read More

Online Harassment and Risk of Liability Under Fair Housing Laws

My colleagues and I have blogged about the importance of recognizing requests for reasonable accommodations/modifications, carefully and thoughtfully considering them, and properly responding in a timely manner. We like to think our posts on this topic have helped a few

Read More

State, federal laws support ‘group homes’ in residential communities (MI)

Q. Some people in our subdivision have concerns about an adult foster care facility (sometimes referred to as a “group home”) operating in the community and are asking the Board of Directors of our community association to draft a proposed

Read More

Fair Housing Act – Emotional Support Animals

A very instructive case was decided last month in a Federal Appeals Court which will demonstrate almost everything not to do with respect to compliance with the Fair Housing Act relative to emotional support animals. This case dealt with a

Read More

Service Animals & Your HOA

No matter what your community’s pet policy is, service animals are almost always allowed. Unlike pets, service animals are not subject to the same rules, so here are some general things to consider when dealing with service animals.    Read

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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………….

Read More

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

Read More

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.

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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,

Read More

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

These personal and ongoing disputes will usually make their way to the board level. They present a challenge for the board because they are often “he said, she said” situations

Read More

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,

Read More

New FHA Harassment Rule & Policy Recommendation

There certainly must be a fine line for homeowner associations to ensure they are taking reasonable action to address quid pro quo and hostile environment harassment when appropriate,

Read More

HOA lawsuit rachets up (OR)

Mediation resulted in all the Fountains and Phase 8 board members attending a fair housing training, review and adoption of reasonable accommodation procedures and monetary damages of $25,000.

Read More