Tag: Fair Housing

Don’t Get Slapped with Fair Housing Act Claim

No matter how large or small the community association you manage is, you’ll need to employ at least a few staff members. While they should receive training that’s specific to their job, there’s one type of training that’s necessary for everyone: how to abide by the Fair Housing Act (FHA). It’s easy to forget that maintenance workers, who fulfill many of their job duties without coming into contact with the community’s members, will sooner or later have interactions with home or condo owners.

Be Cautious When Making Decisions about Handicapped Member

Q: I manage a condominium building that was previously owned before the current association took it over. A handicapped unit owner claims that some elements of the building—namely, some doors—are difficult, but not impossible, for him to use as a result of his disability. He is suing the association under the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and asking that the association spend what would be a considerable amount of time and money redoing the design and construction of the building to accommodate him.

Train Maintenance Staff to Follow Fair Housing Rules

No matter how large or small the community association you manage is, you’ll need to employ at least a few staff members. While they should receive training that’s specific to their job, there’s one type of training that’s necessary for everyone: how to abide by the Fair Housing Act (FHA). It’s easy to forget that maintenance workers, who fulfill many of their job duties without coming into contact with the community’s members, will sooner or later have interactions with home or condo owners.

Avoid Fair Housing Trouble Over Assistance Animals

Pets can enrich the lives of their owners, and many associations understand this and do allow members to have pets. However, dealing with pets in condominium communities requires balancing the freedoms pet-owning members enjoy on their privately owned property with the rights neighboring members have to enjoy their property. Some communities avoid this balancing act by banning pets entirely; others impose strict pet size and quantity limitations on members.

Shedding Light on Association Duty to Handicapped Members

Q: I manage a condominium building that was previously owned before the current association took it over. A handicapped unit owner claims that some elements of the building—namely, some doors—are difficult, but not impossible, for him to use as a result of his disability. He is suing the association under the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and asking that the association spend what would be a considerable amount of time and money redoing the design and construction of the building to accommodate him.

Determining Liability to Handicapped Member under Fair Housing Law

Q: I manage a condominium building that was previously owned before the current association took it over. A handicapped unit owner claims that some elements of the building—namely, some doors—are difficult, but not impossible, for him to use as a result of his disability. He is suing the association under the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and asking that the association spend what would be a considerable amount of time and money redoing the design and construction of the building to accommodate him.

Do Community’s Rules Discriminate Against Families with Children?

FACTS: A couple filed a fair housing case, alleging discrimination based on familial status at the condominium community where they lived with their two minor children. The couple claimed that the condo association and its management company created an “atmosphere of hostility” against families with children.

Warn Board About Delaying Response to Fair Housing Request

Ideally, your association’s board would act efficiently regarding every request, activity, and issue it’s faced with in the process of serving the best interest of the community you manage. Sometimes, this isn’t the case. Board members could be overwhelmed, disorganized, or—unfortunately—acting in their own interests instead of members’ interests, leading to disputes with members. There doesn’t need to be a sense of urgency for the board to make decisions immediately on all matters; some things can wait.

Enforce Late Fee Policy Consistently to Avoid Fair Housing Claims

Unfortunately, sometimes you have to charge your members late fees if they don’t pay their common expenses on time (unless you've established an acceleration policy, as discussed in "Cut Monthly Assessment Delinquencies with Tough Acceleration Policy"). You probably don’t want to charge late fees to members who occasionally pay late. But you might also feel that members who chronically pay late deserve the late charges.

State Court Was Proper Venue for Fair Housing Lawsuit

Facts: Homeowners purchased a property in a planned community and moved into it several months later. The community association’s declaration contained certain terms, rules, and restrictions to which all owners were subject. The owners requested, and were denied permission, to make several changes to their property. The owners ultimately made some unauthorized changes on their own. The association sued in Delaware state court for enforcement of certain restrictions contained in the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions for the association.