Excluding Drug Users Without Committing Disability Discrimination

May 17, 2022    
Tenants who abuse drugs and alcohol may be endangering not only themselves but also their neighbors. Tenant substance abuse can result in criminal activity, violence, fires, disturbances, and other threats to apartment community health, safety, and tranquility. But, from a legal standpoint,...

7 Pitfalls to Avoid When Responding to Fair Housing Complaints

April 19, 2022    
On average, 25,000 to 30,000 fair housing complaints are filed against landlords in the U.S. each year. Fueling this massive wave of litigation isn’t just the national determination to crack down on discrimination but the glut of potential plaintiffs, including not just the individual victims...

How to Avoid Setting Discriminatory Swimming Pool Rules

March 15, 2022    
Drowning is the second leading cause of death for children in the U.S, behind only motor vehicle crashes. The vast majority of fatal drownings involving kids ages 1 to 4 happen in swimming pools. In many of these incidents, the victim is a child who couldn’t swim who somehow gained...

Avoiding Liability Risks for Fair Housing Violations Committed by Contractors

February 16, 2022    
One reason that complying with fair housing laws is so challenging is that you can’t delegate your nondiscrimination duties the way you can with other legal obligations. Managing your own personal conduct isn’t enough; you’re also responsible for the third parties you hire to...

2021 Scorecard: Using Fair Housing Court Cases to Improve Your Compliance Efforts

January 24, 2022    
A look at recent cases yields some important lessons.   It’s against the law to commit housing discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status and handicap (disability).

Avoiding Inadvertent Discrimination When Advertising Your Community

December 23, 2021    
In today’s highly competitive rental market, effective advertising is crucial to attracting the right renters. But for these very same reasons, your advertising and marketing practices can get you into fair housing hot water. The advertising media you select and the message you craft may be...

Avoiding Liability for Discrimination Under State & Local Fair Housing Laws

November 21, 2021    
Because enforcement is so active and penalties are so high, it’s easy to forget that complying with the federal Fair Housing Act (FHA) may not be enough to insulate your community from liability. That’s because most states (and many municipalities) have adopted their own fair housing...

Dealing with Domestic Violence: How to Avoid Fair Housing and Other Legal Traps

October 22, 2021    
Look at your watch and count off 60 seconds. If the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) averages hold true, by the time you’re done, 20 people in the U.S. will have suffered physical abuse at the hands of an intimate partner. What people do to each other in their own homes is directly relevant...

Fair Housing Retaliation Liability Risks & How to Avoid Them

September 16, 2021    
“Retaliation” is a fancy word for revenge. It’s a nasty action that you take to get back at somebody for doing something bad to you. In the context of fair housing, retaliation means an unfavorable action a landlord takes like rejecting a rental applicant or evicting a tenant...

Back to School: How to Avoid Fair Housing Trouble When Renting—or Not Renting—to Students

August 24, 2021    
Leasing to students who attend or college or university in your geographic market can be an excellent source of income. At least 79 percent of the students attending a two- or four-year college live off-campus, according to the Urban Institute. In many rental markets, demand for student rental...