Month: March 2010

Discrimination Suit Settled in Omaha Housing Bias Case

An Omaha condominium association and its former president have agreed to pay more than $127,000 to settle allegations of discrimination against families with children.

The association and its former president were sued in 2008 and accused of interfering with the sale of one of the units. The lawsuit claimed that the association's rules barred the sale or rental of condos to families with children. The lawsuit also alleged that the former president's conduct constituted a pattern of discrimination.

Board-Approved Special Assessment Deemed Valid

Facts: A condominium association raised its monthly assessment. A member continued to pay the old amount, claiming that he was not notified that the condominium's board of directors had approved the increase.

Members Didn’t Submit Evidence to Show Improper Assessment

Facts: A townhouse community charges its members an annual assessment. Since 1974, the assessment has increased three times. For a few years, some members did not paid their assessment because they believed that an increase imposed in 2002 was not valid. As a result of nonpayment, the association filed a lien on the members' properties and pursued foreclosure for a money judgment.

Member Knowingly Exceeded Construction Height Guidelines

Facts: An association's architectural committee is charged with reviewing plans for any improvement within the community to ensure that they comply with the governing documents and are in harmony with neighboring buildings. Once the plans are approved by the committee, actual construction of any improvements is required to comply strictly with the approved plans.

Roof Lease for Wireless Communication Equipment Ruled Invalid

Facts: A group of members sued the board and a wireless telephone company to invalidate a lease contract between them and to prevent the company from constructing and erecting cellular telephone antennas and related wireless communications equipment on the roof of the condominium.

How to Avoid Discriminating Against Families with Children

Your community may set reasonable rules to protect the safety of your members' children and respect other members' right to enjoy their property. But your community must be careful that your rules do not unfairly single out children, or your association may be charged with discrimination based on familial status. The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, and familial status, which generally refers to minor children.