July 2018 Coach's Quiz
We’ve highlighted recent developments in fair housing law. Now let’s look at how the rules might apply in the real world. Take the COACH’s Quiz to see what you have learned.
INSTRUCTIONS: Each of the following questions has only one correct answer. On a separate piece of paper, write down the number of each question, followed by the answer you think is correct—for example, (1) b, (2) a, and so on.
Our community recently granted a request for an exception to our no-pet policy so a resident with a disability could keep a dog as an emotional support animal. Now her next-door neighbor keeps calling our office to report that the resident is breaking the rules and asking why she can’t have a dog too. To prevent the neighbor from making trouble, we can tell her about the resident’s disability and need for an assistance animal. True or false?
You could trigger a discrimination complaint just from the way you answer phone calls or emails from prospects. True or false?
A resident reports that a neighbor has been sexually harassing her. If you ignore the complaint, your community could be sued for sexual harassment. True or false?
COACH’S ANSWERS & EXPLANATIONS
Correct answer: b
When you’ve granted a resident’s reasonable accommodation request, be careful about what you say to other people who ask about it. It doesn’t matter whether it’s for an assistance animal, a reserved parking spot, or something else. Reasonable accommodations are, by definition, exceptions to your general policies, procedures, or rules—so neighbors may be curious (or envious) about why you’ve made the exception and why they can’t get the same thing.
You might avoid trouble from the neighbor if she knows why the resident gets to keep a dog when she can’t, but you could stir up fair housing trouble if you disclosed disability-related information about the resident to her neighbor. According to federal guidelines, information gathered to evaluate reasonable accommodation requests must be kept confidential and may not be shared with others (absent disclosure required by law) unless they need it to evaluate the accommodation request.
Correct answer: a
You could trigger a discrimination complaint from the way you answer telephone calls or emails from prospects. It’s unlawful to treat people differently than others based on race, national origin, or any other protected characteristic. Around the country, fair housing organizations are contacting communities by phone—and increasingly, by email—to check for differences in response times as well as the content and quality of information provided to people from different protected groups. Whether it’s done on the organization’s own initiative—or to follow up on a complaint involving a single applicant—you’d likely face a discrimination complaint if testing reveals that you’re treating people differently depending on whether they’re members of a protected class.
Correct answer: a
If you get a sexual harassment complaint, it’s important to investigate and take prompt action to resolve any problems, regardless of whether it’s against an employee, outside vendor, or a neighbor. Some courts have held owners and managers liable in situations where they knew of tenant-on-tenant harassment and did nothing to stop it.
See The Lesson For This Quiz
|Legal Update: Recent Developments in Fair Housing Law|