Why Board Members Need to Understand The Difference Between Religious and Secular Holiday Displays

If your community association installs a holiday display, is that holiday display considered religious or secular? Are Christmas trees, menorahs, Nativity scenes, or the Kikombe cha Umoja (the Unity Cup used during Kwanzaa celebrations) considered religious or secular? How can you tell the difference? Why is the difference so very important to understand?   Read the […]

HOA Religious Discrimination: What Members Should Know

HOA religious discrimination is a real issue that can affect communities nationwide. Boards should learn how to protect the association from discrimination claims, while homeowners should know their rights.    Read the entire article……………………………….

Co-op Board Removes Menorah. Is it Discriminating? (NY)

Thanksgiving is almost here, which means it’s time for the feuding over Christmas and Hanukkah to begin.  Right on cue, a story is unfolding at a luxury Midtown East co-op. For years the board displayed both a large Christmas tree and a menorah in the lobby during the holidays. Last year, after a new board […]

New HOA Holiday Guide

The holiday season is here. Many homeowners associations may choose to develop holiday and religious display guidelines that are easy for residents to follow and simple to enforce. Have a happy holiday with these tips.  Read the entire article……………………………….

Developer, HOA apologize over Ramadan decoration fine (UT)

A day after KSL TV first reported a Muslim family received a fine from its homeowners association over their Ramadan decorations, the HOA and the neighborhood developer have apologized.   Read the entire article……………………………….

Faith Over Fear Crosses: A local homeowner’s association is telling residents to take them down, and some are not too happy (GA)

“Faith Over Fear Crosses” are supposed to bring people joy during this pandemic. One Columbia County HOA is making residents take them down.  “We don’t feel that anybody has the right, whether its a covenant or anything else to tell us we don’t have constitutional rights to have freedom of religion,” said Ken Johnson.   Read […]

Religious Discrimination Fair Housing Case Settles for $40,000 (CA)

Just this week, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) announced that it settled a housing discrimination case involving a condominium owner who alleged her homeowners association and management company violated the law by refusing to permit the resident to display a mezuzah (a small religious object placed on the door of many […]

Community Fellowship or Losing Your Religion? Religious Freedom in Homeowners Associations

The American Founding Fathers unmistakably voiced their conviction that the government had no business getting involved in religion. John Adams simply declared “nothing is more dreaded than the national government meddling with religion.” And Thomas Jefferson maintained that, if religious practices weren’t harming other people, the government shouldn’t be involved: “It does me no injury […]

Is It Kosher for My Condo to Go Kosher? (NY/NJ)

Q: I live in a condo in Long Branch, N.J., that wants to change its building policies to support Jewish customs. The board wants to make the condo’s restaurant kosher and install an eruv, a ropelike ritual enclosure that surrounds the building to allow more freedom of movement during Sabbath. Not all residents in the […]

Christian requirement at Northern Michigan resort illegal, federal government says (MI)

The federal government will oversee a Northern Michigan cottagers’ association that had required prospective cottage owners to be practicing Christians.  The Bay View Association of the United Methodist Church, an idyllic resort near Petoskey, amended its bylaws last year after membership overwhelmingly rejected the requirement that only church-going Christians could join the association, required for […]

Novi family angry over request to remove Virgin Mary statue (MI)

Every morning, each member of the Samona family stops to pray in front of a small statue of the Virgin Mary that adorns the flower bed in the yard of their Novi home.  They pause again in front of the tiny statue when they return home at day’s end. It’s been part of the family’s […]

Avoiding Religious Discrimination Claims in Condominiums and HOA’s

The Federal Fair Housing Act (“FHA”), 42 U.S.C. §3601, et. seq. prohibits a condominium association or homeowners’ association from discriminating against a potential purchaser or an owner based upon religious beliefs. 42 U.S.C. §3604 provides in pertinent part:     Read the article……………………..

Avoiding Religious Discrimination Claims in Condominiums and HOA’s

The Federal Fair Housing Act (“FHA”), 42 U.S.C. §3601, et. seq. prohibits a condominium association or homeowners’ association from discriminating against a potential purchaser or an owner based upon religious beliefs. 42 U.S.C. §3604 provides in pertinent part:    Read the article…………………..

Frum Jackson Resident Files Lawsuit Against HOA Over Religious Discrimination (NJ)

A wheelchair-bound frum Jackson, NJ, resident has filed a lawsuit against his Homeowner’s Association after the HOA refused his requests for them to accommodate his disabilities and religious rights.  Rabbi Phillip Lefkowitz moved from Chicago to the Westlake adult community in Jackson in order to be near his daughter, who lived a short distance away. […]

Rabbi Files Suit Against Active Adult Community (NJ)

He moved from Chicago to be closer to his daughter and her family. But he said he cannot practice his religion in the township home he purchased in a 55+ adult community…….Lefkowitz is suing Westlake Master Association Inc. and each Board of Trustees member individually for religious and disability discrimination. The suit was filed in […]

A Retirement Community Turned Away These Married Women (MO)

Mary Walsh and Beverly Nance did considerable research in 2016 before deciding to move into a continuing care retirement community outside St. Louis.  They took a tour of Friendship Village Sunset Hills and were impressed by its pool and fitness center, a calendar crammed with activities, the newly built apartments for independent living. They had […]

Hasidic Jews sue Highland Lake Estates for $7.5M, claiming discrimination (NJ)

The welcome page on Highland Lake Estates’ internet site boasts about its diverse and multicultural community, but 11 Hasidic Jews paint a very different picture of the Highland Mills, Orange County, neighborhood.  They have sued the homeowners association, property manager and board members for $7.5 million, claiming that Highland Lake Estates is hostile to their […]

Religious Symbols in Condominiums (ON)

It was recently reported in the media that a unit owner was asked to remove a mezuzah attached to the unit’s exterior door-frame as it was in contravention of the condominium rules, which prohibited owners and residents from affixing, hanging or displaying anything on the doors or door-frames of the units.    Read the article…………………

HOA tells new Florence church it must remove crosses (AZ)

The new Mosaic Church of the Nazarene nearing completion at Merrill Ranch Parkway and Felix Road has received notice from the Anthem Parkside HOA that its Christian crosses, blue flower pots and temporary signs are unapproved and must be removed.  Pastor Kevin McGinnis said he will appeal the order.  Sharon Wenzel, community manager for the […]

Officials order Houston couple to take down religious symbol from front yard (TX)

Faith is important to Edward and Mona Hartnett. Edward is a disabled veteran, a former Green Beret.  The Catholic couple says this year was especially tiring after Hurricane Harvey destroyed their northwest Houston home.  “That’s what gets us through all the times of need, is that reliance on God,” Edward Hartnett Jr. said.  A kitchen […]

Condo Accused of Religious Ban Offers Revised Policy (FL)

A condominium association accused of Fair Housing Act violations after prohibiting prayer and religious meetings in common areas wants to change course.  Cambridge House instead wants to prohibit daily, weekly and monthly gatherings for support and special interest groups, clubs, therapy sessions and seminars if the meetings include outsiders and don’t have a written condo […]

Florida Condo Association Under Fire for Banning Bible Studies on Common Elements

A Florida condo unit owner has filed a complaint with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, claiming that her condo association has discriminated against her on the basis of religion after it banned bible studies and other religious activities from being conducted on the common elements.  For nearly a year, the unit owner […]

HOA Removes Nativity Scene, Says California Pastor (CA)

A California pastor said the local homeowner association removed his church’s nativity scene. Pastor Mike Openshaw told NBC 7 the display representing the birth of Jesus was removed from exterior of the Lighthouse Christian Church.  Openshaw told the news station he received an email from the Ranch Maintenance Agreement Board last Thursday asking him to […]

Condominium Owners’ Meeting on Muslim Holiday – Was this Discrimination?

A condominium corporation found itself before the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal (Kamal v. PCC No. 51) after several unit owners alleged that the corporation had discriminated against them on the basis of creed, by holding an owners’ special meeting on an important Muslim religious holiday.  Major repairs to the tune of $2,000,000 were required to […]

Is your Meeting Date a Human Rights Violation? (ON)

In 2015 I wrote about an interesting human rights complaint that had been started by three owners because of the date selected by their condominium and manager for the AGM. The owners claimed that they were discriminated against because the meeting was held on an important religious holiday for Muslims. They claimed that the condominium […]

A Sukkot in an HOA

Why build a sukkah when there’s no time, it’s too hot, and you might get a threatening summons from the Homeowners’ Association? read more: Read the article……………

Religion in the Community (TX)

Representative Matt Krause from Tarrant County has filed a House Joint Resolution, HJR No. 125. The bill proposes a constitutional amendment relating to a person’s free exercise of religion. It specifically states: “A homeowners’ association may not burden in any way a person’s free exercise of religion unless the burden is: (1) necessary to further […]

Religious Freedom and Community Associations: How does the Religious Freedom Restoration Act Impact Condominium and Homeowner’s Associations?

In 1993, the federal government enacted the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (“RFRA”). The purpose of the RFRA was to allow a person to avoid complying with any law that interfered with the exercise of their religious freedom unless there was a compelling governmental interest behind the law and the least restrictive means of furthering that […]

Mezuzah restrictions, anti-Semitism, and the definition of a doorpost

Did you know that some condominium associations may have the right to keep a homeowner from posting a mezuzah at the doorway entrance?  It happened to Barbara Cadranel of Stratford, CT. In 2012, she received a stern letter from her condo association demanding that she remove the mezuzah from her doorpost or pay a fine […]