Discrimination Claims within Community Associations (WA)

A person’s home is intended to be their sanctuary from the public. As such, situations which arise that affect a person’s ability to feel safe and secure in their home are particularly harmful. This is, in part, the basis for the protections provided in the Fair Housing Act. Through recent amendments to the Fair Housing […]

Are HOAs required to ensure ADA compliance? (CT)

Per ADA stipulations, every public facility is required to provide reasonable accommodation for people with disabilities. The ADA applies to “public accommodations.” Homes are generally private. However, there are ways in which the usage of spaces like common areas can transform certain areas into “public spaces” that are subject to ADA compliance requirements.  Read the article…………………………….

HOA Homefront: Understanding fair housing laws to help those who need it (CA)

California and federal law provide important protections for disabled persons. Morally and legally, doing what we reasonably can to help the disabled live as normally as reasonably possible is the right thing to do.  However, requesting residents and responding HOAs don’t always fully understand the legal requirements. HOAs are “housing accommodations” under the Fair Housing […]

Co-op Boards’ Broad Powers Do Not Include the Right to Discriminate (NY)

Q: A shareholder in a co-op in Jackson Heights, Queens, is trying to sell her apartment — but the co-op board has used its considerable powers to reject a series of potential buyers. One sale was blocked because the board said the co-op’s financial information was unavailable while the co-op was undergoing an audit.   Read […]

HUD Charges Hawaii Condominium Association, Management Company, Condominium Unit Owners, and Real Estate Agent with Disability Discrimination

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it is charging individuals and entities associated with a Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, condominium complex, including the condominium association, employees of the condominium association, the property management company, an employee of the property management company, the condominium unit’s owners, and the owners’ real estate broker […]

Former Burleson HOA faces discrimination allegations (TX)

Calvin Brown resigned from the board of his neighborhood’s homeowners association in Burleson recently after he got a series of texts from his fellow board members over whether or not a lesbian couple in the neighborhood should be fined for their yard sign.   Read the article……………………….

Discrimination: A Claim That Must be Taken Seriously (IL)

This past year or two, we have seen more lawsuits filed in the circuit courts of Illinois by unit owners against community associations, individual board members, and/or management companies than in years past. For this reason, we often talk about trends in the courtrooms and how judges rule in cases involving community associations. However, we […]

Register of Deeds seeks help to catalog racially restrictive covenants (NC)

The Wake County Register of Deeds Office is putting out the call for volunteers to help dive into its archives and uncover historic insights into our community’s past. The historical evidence is hidden within the “restrictive covenants” of perhaps hundreds of properties and homeowner association clauses throughout the county.   Read the article…………………………….

Best Practices for Community Associations Responding to Disability Accommodations Requests

The federal Fair Housing Act bars community associations from refusing reasonable accommodations to their rules or policies requested by disabled owners to enable them to enjoy the full use of their residences. Requests for accommodations that represent fundamental changes to associations’ existing policies, or those that infringe upon the rights and privileges of other owners, […]

Mecosta County HOA uses new law to discharge racist language (MI)

Naomi Simpson, a home owners association board member for Young’s Lake Subdivision in Martiny Township, embarked on a journey to expunge the outdated and restrictive covenants that had plagued their community since 1947.    Read the article………………………..

Does My HOA Have To Comply with ADA Requirements? What to Know About Disability Accommodations

According to the Foundation for Community Association Research, approximately 25-27 percent of the U.S. population lives in private communities governed by condominiums, cooperatives, and housing associations. Plus, Federal laws require HOAs to consider special accommodations for people with disabilities, even if those accommodations would violate the governing documents.   Read the article………………………..

Website Accessibility: The ADA and FHA

In recent years, and trending more frequently as of late, we have heard about businesses, big and small, receiving demand letters related to their website accessibility, alleging ADA noncompliance, and threatening to file suit and seek damages on behalf of the people with disabilities they represent. Here we will cover what web accessibility means and […]

Horrified by ‘whites-only’ language in their property deeds, Ladera residents worked hard to purge it (CA)

The property deed contained restrictions from an earlier era prohibiting anyone who wasn’t “Caucasian or white race” from owning or occupying land in the neighborhood.  Although these types of covenants were outlawed in 1948 and are no longer enforceable, its presence on her property deed raised concerns about the origins of these racial restrictions and […]

Considerations on Criminal Background Checks & Tenancy Restrictions (FL)

Numerous condominiums and homeowner associations have Governing Documents, or rules and regulations that regulate leasing, including restriction to whom owners may rent. Many associations base their decisions on the results of a criminal background check or on a potential renter’s disclosure of criminal history on a rental application.   Read the article………………………..

Delayed Decisions On Accommodation Requests Lead To Trouble

A recent federal court decision in U.S. v. The Dorchester Owners Association, No. 20-1396 (E.D. Penn. Jan. 25, 2023), is instructive as to how boards of directors can put their associations at risk when they fail to make timely final decisions on accommodation requests or impose unreasonable conditions in granting those requests. In this case, […]

Delayed Decisions On Accommodation Requests Lead To Trouble

A recent federal court decision in U.S. v. The Dorchester Owners Association, No. 20-1396 (E.D. Penn. Jan. 25, 2023), is instructive as to how boards of directors can put their associations at risk when they fail to make timely final decisions on accommodation requests or impose unreasonable conditions in granting those requests.  Read the article………………………..

Lawmakers want to remove racist covenants from housing contracts (NV)

Kent Ervin, a homeowner in Reno and chemistry professor at UNR, said his 2015 purchase of a home built in 1930 forced him to sign a deal that included a racist covenant that bars anyone except a white or Caucasian person from owning, occupying or using the property.    Read the article………………………..

Public Act 6 of 2023: Codifying the Prohibition of Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and/or Gender Identity or Expression (MI)

On March 16, 2023, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Public Act 6 of 2023, enacting Senate Bill 4 of the 2023-2024 legislative session and amending the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender identify or expression.   Read the article………………………..

HOA And ADA Compliance: Is An HOA Required To Comply?

Whether you are a board member, an HOA manager, or a homeowner, it is essential to understand the legal requirements placed upon HOAs. Here’s what you need to know about your HOA and ADA compliance.   Read the article………………………..

Bloomfield trustees review historic discrimination (MI)

Fifty-five years after discriminatory housing restrictions were prohibited by the Civil Rights Act of 1968, a plethora of Bloomfield Township property deeds retain exclusionary language that is now illegal to enforce.   Read the article………………………..

Legislative Trend: Amending Discriminatory Covenants

Twenty two states adopted policies to address the removal of discriminatory or restrictive covenants in deeds and/or associations. In 2023, nine states introduced legislation that would allow community associations to remove discriminatory or restrictive covenants. CAI supports legislative language that allows a simplified process for association boards to amend discriminatory covenants nationwide.    Read the article………………………..

Michigan Passes Law Allowing Owners And HOAs To Remove Discriminatory Restrictions From Deeds And Other Recorded Documents

A new Michigan law went into effect on December 13, 2022 called the Discharge of Prohibited Restrictive Covenants Act (“Act”). This Act gives Michigan property owners and Michigan community associations a new and easy way to affirmatively remove discriminatory restrictions from deeds and other recorded documents. If a restriction is found in recorded community association […]

Can, or Should, My Community Association Prohibit “Group Homes”? (NC)

With the passage of federal and State laws protecting disabled individuals, we see a societal push away from institutionalized living arrangements and towards community based, group home settings. This firm is frequently asked how, or if, an association can prohibit these group living arrangements within their community.   Read the article………………………..

Federal Trial Set For March In Seven Bridges Delray Discrimination Case (FL)

The federal discrimination case against the Seven Bridges Homeowners Association is now set for trial on March 3, 2023, after a year-long delay. The high-profile case pits a Christian homeowner against what she claims was a discriminatory board of directors that sided with a Jewish homeowner after an alleged incident on the community’s tennis courts.  Read […]

Associations Cannot Ban Sex Offenders from Community (PA)

Many condominium and homeowners’ associations worry about people who are registered as sex offenders under the Sexual Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), usually referred to as “Megan’s Law.” Many associations I work with have considered a range of ideas, from not allowing Megan’s Law registrants to use the community pool all the way to […]

Black residents sue Trilith Studios’ housing development, citing years of unaddressed discrimination (GA)

The plaintiffs include five current and former residents. In the lawsuit, they claim they faced assault, racial slurs, and had police called when they use community amenities. The Homeowners Association is also alleged to reject design choices from Black owners and ignore requests to repair damage to their home.   Read the article………………………..

Community Associations May Have a Duty to Address Neighbor-to-Neighbor Discrimination

Community associations have historically been able to stay largely uninvolved in neighbor-to-neighbor disputes unless the conduct complained of violated the governing documents of the association. If no governing documents were being violated, the neighbors would be expected to work out the issues among themselves. Now, there is an important step for association boards and managers […]

HUD charges California condo operators with disability discrimination

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has charged the operators of a 556-unit, high-rise condominium tower located in Long Beach, Calif., with discriminating against a homeowner because of disability by refusing to provide her a permanent parking space to accommodate her wheelchair-accessible van.   Read the article………………………..

Parking and Requests for Accommodation (CA)

Parking accommodation requests bring about a particular set of issues and questions. What requests are reasonable? If the board deems a request reasonable, who pays for the modification? What if parking spots are so limited in the community that accommodating the request seems impossible? What to do?   Read the article………………………..

Split 7th Circuit allows racial housing-discrimination claims to proceed against individuals but not Kokomo HOA (IN)

A Black couple subjected to racist harassment from their neighbors may proceed to jury with their racial housing discrimination claims, a split 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled. A dissenting judge, however, argued that a nexus between discriminatory treatment and an adverse housing action was lacking in their claims.   Read the article………………………..

Wyoming HOA charged with Fair Housing Act violation

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) charged Spring Creek Homeowners Association, the governing body of approximately 131 residential housing units in Jackson, Wyo., with discriminating against two homeowners because of disability by imposing restrictions on their assistance animals and retaliating against them for filing a Fair Housing Act complaint.   Read the article………………………..  […]