Coach's Pop Quiz!

Question: While screening an applicant, you learn about frequent complaints and calls to police about domestic disturbances involving the resident and her former boyfriend at her prior residence. Because you’re concerned about the safety and welfare of your current residents, you cannot be held liable for denying the application based on her poor rental history. True or false?

Answer: False. If you exclude the applicant based on her past history of domestic violence, you risk liability under federal fair housing law for discrimination on the basis of sex. In addition, depending on the nature of your community and where it’s located, you could be accused of violating the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) or state laws banning discrimination against victims of domestic violence.

To learn more about complying with VAWA and fair housing laws protecting victims of domestic abuse, see the Coach’s January 2010 lesson, “How to Respond Properly to Domestic Violence,” available in our online Archive.