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

  • Want to Learn the Number of Fair Housing Complaints Filed with HUD in a year? Or the Protected Class With the Highest Percentage of Complaints? Read On. Our friends at the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) publish a myriad of reports concerning the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and the efforts of the Department to enforce the law. One of the reports I like to review is a compilation of the number of discrimination complaints filed each year as well as the percentage of cases filed for each of the seven protected classes under federal law. Although the report is a year or so behind,... More
  • “Failure to Cooperate” and Internet Purchased Emotional Support Animal Fair Housing Tester Cases Loyal Fair Housing Defense blog readers (thank you very much) know that I defend (and report on) what seems like a never ending stream of emotional support animal (ESA) housing discrimination cases these days. The typical run of the mill case comes with a medical verification that looks like it was purchased over the internet with a credit card (as opposed to from a legitimate health care or medical professional who has an actual relationship with a disabled patient). My... More
  • Are There Restrictions On Where Assistance Animals Are Permitted To Go? I received two related questions concerning assistance animals that I thought easier to answer in a blog post. In essence, readers asked if there can be any restrictions on where an assistance animal is permitted to go in an apartment community. As is so often in the law, the answer depends on if the animal is designated as a “service animal” or as an “emotional support animal.” A “service animal” (think of a guide dog that is specifically trained to assist... More
  • HUD, Fair Housing and the Federal Government Shutdown The partial federal government shutdown is in its 30th day as I type this. It is going on longer than most people (including me) thought. No resolution seems to be in sight. The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) is one of the federal entities largely closed until the administration and Congress solve the current funding impasse. So, what happens to our housing discrimination cases pending with HUD during the shutdown? The short answer is your case is on... More
  • The Top Ten Fair Housing Defense Blog Posts from 2018 (As Contrasted With the Top Ten Blog Posts From All Time) A dutiful Fair Housing Defense reader (thanks for taking the time to visit) pinged me with a question concerning the annual Top Ten list of blog posts.   Apparently after clicking on at least one entry, my reader noticed that the post was from a few years back.  Fair point.  The list I circulated in the last post was the Top Ten Fair Housing Defense blog posts of all time.  Apparently my Firm tracks everything.  Printed below are the Top Ten... More
  • The Top Ten Fair Housing Defense Blog Posts in 2018   My favorite blog entry of the year. With annual apologies to David Letterman, here are the Top Ten Fair Housing Defense Blog posts from 2018 (ranked in order of how many people viewed each entry): 1. Exemptions to the Fair Housing Act? Not Many — But Here Are Some. 2. Who Pays for Reasonable Modification or Reasonable Accommodation Requests? 3. The “Mrs. Murphy” Exemption to the Fair Housing Act| 4. The FHA’s “Mrs. Murphy” Exemption — A 50 State Guide 5.... More
  • HUD Resolves Disability Discrimination Case Complaint Against Condominium Association in New Jersey Last week, the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) issued a press release to announce it resolved a disability discrimination case in November 2018 filed against a New Jersey age 55 and over condominium association involving claims that the condo association violated the Fair Housing Act (FHA) by refusing to sell a couple a home because the couple intended to have their disabled adult daughter live with them. As a part of the consent order concluding the case, the... More
  • A Little Fair Housing Humor: “Emotional Support Chicken” from Popeyes You can’t make this up.  In an effort to help reduce holiday travel stress, Popeyes (the chicken restaurant chain, not the cartoon character) launched an “Emotional Support Chicken” to provide a quick laugh to travelers (at least to those at the airport in Philadelphia).  The next box is designed to bring fried chicken on holiday flights. All kidding aside, this is the problem now faced by those with legitimate disabilities (including our veterans) and who need assistance animals.  Because there is... More
  • A Cautionary Tale and More on Holiday Decorations Last week we wrote generally about the impact of fair housing laws on holiday decorations and displays and the challenging balancing act that management must undertake when considering what, if any, holiday displays they will permit in their communities. A recent judgment from the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho demonstrates just what can happen if management (or a homeowners’ association) fails to address issues that members of the community might have with their neighborhood’s aspiring heir to... More
  • A Short Holiday Decoration Guide For Apartment Management Every year in December I get questions about holiday decorations in apartment communities. How do we respect the Christmas celebrations of some, Hanukkah beliefs of others, as well as festive traditions of various other cultures? Can we put up decorations involving Santa Claus? What about Christmas trees? Rudolph? Menorahs? And what to do if some residents celebrate nothing during this time of year? For professional apartment management, however, the question of what to do (or not do) with respect to holiday... More