Tag: Fair Housing

Are Your Community Association Rules a Ticking Time Bomb?

Times change, but often community association rules don’t. If your rules get out of date, they could become a ticking time bomb representing unnecessary risk that could blow up at any moment into a costly lawsuit or dispute. “Rules should be reviewed on a regular basis, and, in my experience, they aren’t,” says Alan Garfinkel,…

How and Why Your Association Clients Should Regularly Review Their Rules

Times change, but often association rules don’t. Here’s why and how your clients should conduct regular reviews of their rules. The Need for Review “Rules should be reviewed on a regular basis, and, in my experience, they aren’t,” says Alan Garfinkel, founding partner of Garfinkel Law, a full-service community association law firm in Florida. Regular…

Proposed Legislation Could Provide Funding for Special Assessments

U.S. Representatives Charlie Crist (D-Fla.) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) recently introduced the Securing Access to Finance Exterior Repairs (SAFER) in Condos Act of 2022 (H.R. 7532). The legislation would allow condo owners to finance special assessments with loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). But, if enacted, the law might not provide the…

Congress Mulls FHA-Backed Condo Repairs

U.S. Representatives Charlie Crist (D-Fla.) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) recently introduced the Securing Access to Finance Exterior Repairs (SAFER) in Condos Act of 2022 (H.R. 7532). The legislation would allow condo owners to finance special assessments with loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). But, if enacted, the law might not provide the…

Could You Be Liable for Neighbor-to-Neighbor Harassment?

A federal district court is allowing a former resident to pursue a lawsuit against an HOA and its management company alleging liability for an owner’s racial harassment. “The meat and potatoes of this case is really the hostile environment claim and whether the association and manager did enough to stop it,” says Kevin Hirzel, managing…

Court Allows Claims Against HOA, Manager for Neighbor-to-Neighbor Racial Abuse

A federal district court is allowing a former resident to pursue a lawsuit against an HOA and its management company alleging liability for an owner’s racial harassment (Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana, Inc. v. New). “The meat and potatoes of this case is really the hostile environment claim and whether the association and manager…

What Determines Whether an Accommodation Request is ‘Reasonable’?

The Illinois Court of Appeals recently ruled that a condo association must provide only those accommodations that reduce the effects of a disability so that a requesting resident isn’t disadvantaged because of the disability. This standard proved too high of a hurdle in a recent discrimination lawsuit brought by a particularly litigious owner in a…

Watch Out for Legal Pitfalls with 55-and-Older Communities

The federal Housing for Older Persons Act (HOPA) exempts 55-and-older communities from the prohibition against familial status discrimination in housing. But some of these associations fail to comply with the law’s strict, and ongoing, legal requirements, leaving them vulnerable to discrimination claims. As an example, to qualify for the exemption from familial discrimination liability, a…

Accommodations Must Mitigate the Effects of the Disability to be ‘Reasonable’

The Illinois Court of Appeals recently ruled that a condo association must provide only those accommodations that reduce the effects of a disability so that a requesting resident isn’t disadvantaged because of the disability. This standard proved too high of a hurdle in a recent discrimination lawsuit brought by a particularly litigious owner in a…

55-and-Older Communities: 3 Legal Landmines to Avoid

The federal Housing for Older Persons Act (HOPA) exempts 55-and-older communities from the prohibition against familial status discrimination in housing. But some of these associations fail to comply with the law’s strict, and ongoing, legal requirements, leaving them vulnerable to discrimination claims. Here are the three main areas where they can slip up. 1. The…