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

  • New California Law Expands the Definition of Source of Income Protection in Housing In a significant development for housing providers in California, the state legislature passed and the Governor signed a bill (now a law) designed to prohibit property management from discriminating against residents and potential residents who use housing vouchers to pay their rent. The new law expands the definition of “source of income” under California law. To briefly review, the federal Fair Housing Act (FHA) has seven protected classes, which include: race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, and familial status. In... More
  • HUD Settles California Assistance Animal Case for $15,000 In a statement issued at the end of last week, the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) announced it resolved a disability discrimination Fair Housing Act (FHA) case in California asserting that various housing providers in and around Los Angeles failed to permit assistance animals for residents with disabilities. The settlement includes a payment of $15,000 as well as mandating various training, recordkeeping, and drafting of new anti-discrimination policies. Factually, a local fair housing tester group filed a complaint... More
  • HUD Charges New York Property Owner With Familial Status Discrimination Continuing on a theme of late, last week the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) charged a New York property owner with violating the federal Fair Housing Act (FHA) when he refused to rent an available apartment home to a father with a teenager. Factually, the property is a mixed-use building with an office on the first floor and two residential units on the second floor. The residential floor contains a two bedroom apartment and a one bedroom apartment.... More
  • HUD Charges Georgia Apartment Owners With Familial Status Discrmination A couple of weeks ago, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) charged a couple from Georgia with familial status discrimination pursuant to the Fair Housing Act (FHA). HUD asserts that the couple, who own an apartment building, refused to rent to and made discriminatory statements about families with children. The case started when a local fair housing group and a mother of two kids filed complaints alleging that the property owners had a policy unlawfully limiting the number... More
  • States Join in Attempting to Prevent Fraudulent Assistance Animal Medical Verifications I do my level best to be evenhanded when I review emotional support animal (ESA) medical verification letters when I know they have been purchased over the internet after a short self-diagnosis questionnaire and perhaps use of an online assessment tool. There has likely been no legitimate, therapeutic relationship between the patient (who must have a recognized disability) and the individual providing the medical verification. As written here (and elsewhere), anyone can go online and buy what look like a... More
  • HUD Charges Two in Colorado With Familial Status Discrimination Under the Fair Housing Act At the end of last week, the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) issued a press release announcing that it charged the owner and manager of a condominium community in Colorado with discriminating against families with children under the Fair Housing Act (FHA). In the charge, HUD asserts that the owner and manager refused to rent units to individuals under 35 years of age as well as refused to rent to a fair housing tester who claimed to... More
  • Do You Have Insurance Coverage For Housing Discrimination Complaints? Find Out. So, what’s the first thing you should do if your professional apartment management company (or ownership entity or leasing office employee) receives a notice from the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) or a similar state, city, or county agency informing them that a housing discrimination case has been filed? Of course, the initial answer is to send it to a lawyer like me to ensure an appropriate notice of appearance is prepared and to work on submitting... More
  • HUD Resolves Race Discrimination Fair Housing Case for $20,000 Pursuant to an agreement released just last week, the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) announced that it resolved a race discrimination Fair Housing Act (FHA) case for $20,000. The case, involving a property management company with many properties in the Los Angeles area, was filed by a fair housing tester group in southern California, asserting that management provided more information about available units to white fair housing testers than they did to black fair housing testers who... More
  • HUD Proposes to Amend “Disparate Impact” Fair Housing Rule A little wonky fair housing policy today. Last week, the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) issued proposed new rules to amend how HUD interprets “disparate impact” under our federal Fair Housing Act (FHA). Public comment on HUD’s proposal is due on or before October 18, 2019. I try never to do politics here in the Fair Housing Defense Blog. My goal is to call balls and strikes with the best guidance that is available. Here is where we... More
  • HUD Files Racial Discrimination FHA Claim Against Texas Landlords Last month, the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) announced it charged two landlords in Texas with racial discrimination under the federal Fair Housing Act (FHA). In the charge, HUD alleged that the landlords declined to rent a room to a potential resident because she is African American. Specifically, HUD’s complaint states that the landlords posted an online advertisement for a room in a five bedroom house. The landlords required applicants to list their race and submit a photograph... More