December 2021 Coach's Quiz
Now that we’ve explained the eight common forms of discrimination banned by state and local fair housing laws, let’s see how well you learned the material. Take the Coach’s Quiz below to see if you can apply the rules to real-life situations. Each question has one and only one correct answer. The correct answers follow the quiz. Good luck!
A rental applicant who’s been unemployed for months gets all of her income from welfare and alimony payments. After calculating her income, you determine it’s not enough to meet your community’s income requirements. The laws of your state ban discrimination based on lawful sources of income. Must you accept the applicant as a tenant?
a. No, as long as you consistently reject other applicants who don’t meet your income requirements
b. Yes, because rejecting her would be discrimination based on her sources of income
c. No, because applicants who don’t have steady jobs are too great a financial risk
Neighbors with young children complain about a lesbian tenant’s holding hands with her significant other in the lobby and other common areas of the building. What would you advise the landlord to do?
a. Ban the tenant from being in public areas when kids are present
b. Ban all displays of public affection in the public areas
c. Discretely and politely ask the tenant if she’d mind not engaging in public displays of affection in public areas
COACH’S ANSWERS & EXPLANATIONS
Correct answer: a
Reason: Rule #6 applies here:
Rule #6: Avoid Source of Income Discrimination
Source of income restrictions simply mean that if an applicant has the lawful funds to pay her rent each month, you can’t reject her simply because you object to where those funds come from. What they don’t require you to do is accept an applicant with insufficient income. So, a. is the right answer.
Wrong answers explained:
b. The reason b. is wrong is because an insufficient amount of income, regardless of source, is a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for rejection as long as you consistently apply the income standard with all prospects. Stated differently, the ban on source of income discrimination doesn’t require you to reduce your normal income standards based on their income sources.
c. The reason c. is wrong is because requiring applicants to have a steady job is a form of source of income discrimination that the laws ban. As long as applicants can get the money they need to pay rent from legal sources, the source of that income is none of your concern.
Correct answer: b
Reason: Rule #2 applies here:
Rule #2: Avoid Sexual Orientation Discrimination
As a landlord, you have the right to set rules of behavior and use of building common areas and facilities. But those rules must be reasonable and nondiscriminatory. A rule banning public displays of affection is fairly defensible, provided that it applies to all persons. That’s not the case when the rule applies only to those of a particular sexual orientation. So, b. is the right answer.
Wrong answers explained:
a. The reason a. is wrong is that it denies the tenant access to building public areas on the basis of sexual orientation. The fact that the ban is designed to protect children and limited to hours in which they’re present in the public areas doesn’t make the rule any less discriminatory.
c. At first blush, c. feels a little more acceptable because you’re asking and not demanding that the tenant refrain from public displays of affection. But because that request singles out the tenant on the basis of her lesbian sexuality, it’s discriminatory regardless of how politely and discretely you phrase it.
See The Lesson For This Quiz
|Avoiding Liability for Discrimination Under State & Local Fair Housing Laws|