Tag: Fair Housing

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.

Don’t Exclude Children Unless Community Qualifies as Senior Housing

Think twice before marketing your community as an “Active Adult” or “Empty Nester” community. Even if your community has many older members or wants to appeal to a growing population of senior citizens, many of whom want to live in child-free environments, check with your attorney before instituting any age-restriction policies or marketing efforts.Adult-only housing…

Manager Had Knowledge of Association’s Fair Housing Violation

Facts: A son submitted one application for himself and another for his mother to rent two units in a condo building that was run by an association. The lease for the son's unit was conditioned on approval of the lease for both units. Along with their applications, the mother and son requested an exception to the association's no-pet policy so that the 95-year-old mother, who suffered from mental and physical disabilities, could keep her emotional support dog.

Preventing Fair Housing Violations When Setting and Enforcing Community Rules

Q What common fair housing problems arise from community rules?

A In general, community rules trigger fair housing problems in one of two ways—either the rules are enforced unfairly or the rules themselves are unfair.

Revoking Parking Privileges Without Violating Fair Housing Law

Q Must an association grant a parking request as a reasonable accommodation when the member hasn't paid his condo fees?

A No, according to a New Jersey court, which ruled in a recent case that the member's parking accommodation request was not reasonable.

Protect Community from Fair Housing Violations by Outside Contractors

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Communities often rely on a variety of outside contractors or vendors to perform services on their behalf ranging from landscaping to plumbing. If one of your members complains about harassment or discrimination by one of these contractors, it's not enough for you to apologize and explain that he doesn't work for the association.