Blog – Fair Housing Defense

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

  • HUD Awards $1.2 Million To Combat Housing Discrimination In a press release issued at the end of last month, HUD announced that it awarded another $1.2 million to combat housing discrimination. The grants, sent to 11 different organizations around the country, are tax dollars used to “educate the public and housing providers about their rights and responsibilities under the Fair Housing Act.” Fair enough. While that is not wrong, it is also money used to fund fair housing testers to seek out what are then claimed to be discriminatory... More
  • HUD Files Fair Housing Charge Asserting Discrimination Against A Family With Children Last week, the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) stated it decided to charge the owners/manager of a rental home in Idaho with violation of the familial status discrimination provision in the Fair Housing Act (FHA). HUD will assert that a couple (and their seven children) were not permitted to rent a home (with four bedrooms and supplemental living space) because of the number of kids. The case was charged after HUD learned that the mother viewed an online ad... More
  • Passenger Sues Delta Airlines Over Injuries Sustained in Alleged Emotional Support Animal Incident A man allegedly attacked by an emotional support animal (ESA) on a Delta Airlines flight back in 2017 has now sued the airline and the animal’s owner for negligence. The incident took place on a flight from Atlanta to San Diego.  The plaintiff alleges the ESA was sitting on its owner’s lap and began to growl.  Next, it is claimed that the animal pinned the plaintiff against the window and bit his face multiple times.  While the owner initially regained control... More
  • HUD Settles Sex Discrimination Fair Housing Act Case For $37,000 Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) announced the resolution of a Fair Housing Act (FHA) sex discrimination case for a total of $37,000 pursuant to an agreement brought against a property owner from Minnesota. Allegations included that a male property manager solicited sex multiple times from a female resident in exchange for a reduction in her rent. While denying the allegations of misconduct, the property manager agreed to pay $30,000 to the resident and $7,000 to the... More
  • An Update on Possible HUD Emotional Support Animal Guidance A Fair Housing Defense blog reader (thanks for stopping by) asked me to give an update with respect to potential guidance from the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) and/or the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) concerning assistance animals generally and specifically how to review medical verifications related to emotional support animals (ESA’s). This opens a potential quagmire, but here goes: As written here and elsewhere, professional apartment management companies continue to face an ever increasing stream of ESA... More
  • HUD Settles Disability Housing Discrimination Case For Approximately $11,000 Last week, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced resolution of a housing discrimination case from California for just under $11,000. The complainants are a family with a child who has a respiratory disability. The issues involved a request from the family to move to a unit away from neighbors who were heavy smokers. Disability, of course, is one of the protected classes under our federal Fair Housing Act. Here, as a reasonable accommodation (which is a change... More
  • Some Thoughts Concerning Reported Cases and a Reader Comment A Fair Housing Defense blog reader (thanks for stopping by) left a comment criticizing your humble blog editor for failing to appropriately research the facts of a case I reported on. I have broad shoulders and I can take a little heat. No worries. Like most of my clients, if I make a mistake, I will certainly try to fix it. When I report on a case, many times I specifically state that “there are always two sides to every story”... More
  • Supreme Court To Answer Question If Sexual Orientation is Covered Under the Civil Rights Laws In a series of three cases accepted for review earlier today, the U.S. Supreme Court will answer a question in 2020 that will likely impact our federal Fair Housing Act (FHA) and how one of its protected classes – sex—is applied under the law. In agreeing to review these decisions, the Court will answer a question that remains unclear under federal law — do the anti-discrimination laws prevent employers from firing workers because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. While... More
  • Fair Housing Act Sex Discrimination Case Settles for $20,000 In a statement released earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) announced that it settled a Fair Housing Act (FHA) sex discrimination case from California for $20,000. The facts involved allegations that the owners of an apartment complex refused to remove a husband from a lease after his wife (and mother of two minor children) obtained a domestic violence restraining order against him. In the complaint, the woman resident claimed that the property discriminated against the now... More
  • HUD Resolves Familial Status Fair Housing Act Case From Maine for $18,000 In a statement issued last week, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that it resolved a familial status Fair Housing Act (FHA) case from Maine for $18,000. The case, stated by a fair housing tester group, began when fair housing testers – who were posing as parents with children – followed up on advertising indicating that children were not allowed and asserted those ads were discriminatory. In addition to the advertisements, it was alleged the property owner... More