Blog – Fair Housing Defense

http://fairhousing.foxrothschild.com/

Scott is the founder and editor of the firm's Fair Housing Defense Blog, which offers discussion and insight on fair housing compliance and other areas of interests to apartment owners and management companies as well as professional management employees.

Recent Blog Posts

  • Catching Up With Fair Housing Defense Blog Reader Questions I am always gratified to receive comments from Fair Housing Defense blog readers. Many enjoy the light and breezy writing style involving what could be, shall we say, a dry topic. Some, however, are a little less kind – one reader last week thought I didn’t know what I was talking about, and used a colorful metaphor. Which is fine and why I don’t publish the comments. Got to love the internet. In any event, several readers have asked me... More
  • HUD Files New Emotional Support Animal Fair Housing Disability Discrimination Case Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued a press release concerning a new case HUD charged in Oklahoma. Specifically, HUD alleged that the landlords of a rental property violated the Fair Housing Act (FHA) by rejecting the emotional support animal request submitted with a veteran with disabilities. As I have written many times, responding to reasonable accommodation requests from disabled residents is a critical part of apartment (or in this case, rental home) management.... More
  • HUD Files New Familial Status Fair Housing Case A couple of weeks ago, the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) announced that it was charging two property owners and two employees at a multifamily property in Kansas with violating the Fair Housing Act (FHA). In the case, HUD asserts that the defendants engaged in familial status discrimination by terminating the lease of a resident who asked if her grandchild could be permitted to live with her. HUD learned of the case when a female resident filed a... More
  • Just Who Can be Named as Responsible Parties in a Fair Housing Cases? A Fair Housing Defense blog reader sent in a question concerning the number of housing discrimination cases filed and if there was a breakdown with respect to those filed against management as contrasted with those filed against maintenance personnel. To my knowledge, while HUD absolutely tracks the annual number of cases filed and further breaks down the complaints by the protected class of the person bringing the action, I am not aware of any data concerning claims filed against service... More
  • Want Some Numbers Addressing Fair Housing Complaints and Compliance? Read On. The beginning of the year is always a good time to check in to see how many and what type of housing discrimination complaints were filed in the previous year. While HUD has not released final numbers for 2016, the most recent annual data reveals: HUD’s annual fair housing budget remains well over $60 million. In 2015, HUD (and its partner agencies) completed 8,249 fair housing investigations, which was essentially flat as compared with 8,361 investigations in 2014. Of those complaints,... More
  • Dr. Ben Carson Has His Senate Confirmation Hearing to Become the Next HUD Secretary. Here is How it Went. Yesterday, Dr. Ben Carson had his confirmation hearing before the U.S. Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, which is considering his nomination to be the next Secretary of the Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD). Many of us interested in federal housing policy were curious to hear what Dr. Carson had to say concerning the Fair Housing Act as well as any HUD initiatives as what he has previously said either disagrees with or does not address many... More
  • Here Are The Top Ten Fair Housing Defense Blog Posts From 2016 Time for my favorite Fair Housing Defense blog post of the year.  With apologies to David Letterman, here are the Top Ten entries from 2016, as calculated by the number of reads (yes, my law firm tracks everything).  You can click on any entry to read the post: #1: DOJ Settles Another Familial Status Fair Housing Act Case — This Time for $100,000 (February 26, 2016) #2: Colorado House Passes Bill To Criminalize False Service/Companion Animal Requests (April 1, 2016) #3: First... More
  • Here is a Short Management/Resident Checklist When Entering Into a Residential Lease With the end of 2016 in sight, I thought this might be a good time for a short landlord/tenant checklist concerning important issues that management and residents should understand when dealing with a residential lease: What is the lease term? One year? Six months? Month-to-month? Another term? How is the lease extended? What is the notice to vacate procedure? What are the deadlines? What additional costs (if any) are not included in the monthly rent? Application fee? Parking? Electric? Trash? Water? And... More
  • Does A Resident Need a “Disability” in Order to Qualify for a Service or Emotional Support Animal? I had three clients in three states (one near the Pacific Ocean, one in the Midwest, and one in the middle Atlantic) all reach out to me with a variation of the same question concerning service and/or companion animals: what happens if the resident is not disabled but still seeks an emotional support animal? Does management have to approve that request? The fact pattern typically comes up when a resident or an applicant submits a reasonable accommodation request. And that accommodation... More
  • DOJ Settles Fair Housing Act Design and Construction Case for $350,000 Plus Retrofits Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) reported that developers of six multi-family housing communities in Mississippi agreed to pay $350,000 to resolve claims that they violated the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by building apartment homes that were inaccessible to persons with disabilities. Pursuant to the terms of the agreement, the defendants promised to make any number of retrofits (including eliminating steps, making bathrooms more usable, installing curb ramps and parking, constructing... More