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

  • 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
  • HUD Settles Disability Discrimination Case Concerning Mold and Retaliation for $6,000 Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) announced it settled a fair housing case from California involving allegations of disability discrimination related to the remediation of mold as well as retaliation against residents for raising the mold concern. The case was brought to HUD when a couple with disabilities filed a complaint asserting that their apartment owner/management company refused to remove mold from a building after the couple reported it. Furthermore, once the mold was identified,... More
  • Facebook Settles Discrimination Complaints and Agrees to Change Certain Advertising Platforms In a post from September 2018, I reported that Facebook’s targeting advertising practices have subjected the social media site to scrutiny, including multiple civil lawsuits and administrative complaints. In short, the various plaintiffs asserted that Facebook’s micro-targeting permitted advertisers to “screen out” members of various protected classes. Facebook did this, the complaints allege, by using data to exclude women, seniors, individuals with disabilities, and minority groups from certain advertising (including those for housing). In an effort to resolve some of these... More
  • Administration Proposes HUD Budget Cuts…But Congress Will Have Final Say At the start of this week, the Trump Administration published its proposed budget for the federal government for the fiscal year starting October 1, 2019. While this is just a proposal – and will certainly be amended by Congress before the end of September – I wanted to highlight a couple of points of interest to those in the professional apartment management industry. First, while it is true that the Administration proposed cutting funding for the U.S. Department of Housing &... More
  • HUD Resolves Familial Status and Race/National Origin Fair Housing Case for $74,000 Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) reported that a Minnesota housing provider agreed to pay $74,000 under the terms of a consent order to conclude a discrimination action asserting a housing provider failed to rent a home to a family of five adults and six minor children because they were Native Americans and Hispanic as well as because they had minor children. The property in question is a six-bedroom, five-bathroom home with over 7,000... More
  • California Settles Familial Status Fair Housing Case for $16,000 In a case resolved last month, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”) announced it settled a housing discrimination complaint for $16,000 against a property management company asserting familial status discrimination. The complaint was filed by a family of four who alleged that management did not allow them to rent an apartment in a building because the property manager did not consider children to be appropriate residents. Specifically, the manager was alleged to have stated that the apartment home... More
  • HUD Cuts Affordable Property REAC Inspection Notice Times A nugget for our professional apartment management colleagues on the affordable side today. Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued a press release stating it was significantly reducing the advance notice the government gives to public housing authorities (PHAs) and private owners of HUD-subsidized apartment communities before their housing is inspected to ensure it remains safe, decent, and healthy. HUD’s announcement (effective 30 days after publication) gives affordable property owners 14 calendar days’ notice before an... More