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...

Responding to Requests for Disability-Related Parking Accommodations

July 20, 2021    
Nearly 61 million people in the U.S., roughly one in four of the adult population, have disabilities. Mobility impairment is the most common disability, particularly among those age 65 and older. Leasing to people with disabilities poses fair housing compliance challenges. Simply refraining from...

How to Avoid Discriminating Against People with Limited English Proficiency

June 15, 2021    
More than 25 million people in the U.S. have limited ability to speak, understand, write, and read the English language. That’s about 9 percent of the national population. Sadly, people in this “limited English proficiency” (LEP) group frequently get doors slammed in their faces....

10 Pitfalls to Avoid When Responding to a Sexual Harassment Complaint

May 17, 2021    
We all know that it’s illegal for landlords to demand sexual favors or otherwise sexually harass their tenants. But it still happens all the time. And given the inherent imbalance in economic power between landlords and tenants, it’s a problem that’s unlikely to go away any time...

How to Limit Liability for Tenant-on-Tenant Harassment

April 19, 2021    
While the current law is unsettled, for landlords there’s much more at stake than what the law requires.