June 2023 Coach's Quiz
We’ve explained how managing lead paint hazards can lead to liability for family status discrimination and the seven rules to follow to manage those risks. Now it’s your turn to apply these principles to real-life situations that may actually arise if your own community contains lead paint hazards. Take the COACH’s Quiz below. Good luck!
A couple expecting their first child expresses interest in an available apartment containing flaking and dust-emitting lead paint on the walls. What should you do?
a. Disclose the uncontrolled lead hazards and let them lease the unit if they still want it
b. Falsely tell them the unit is unavailable to protect the safety of their newborn
c. Disclose the uncontrolled lead hazards and tell them that they can’t lease the unit for safety reasons
Which of the following practices is illegal?
a. Directing families with young children to units that are completely de-leaded
b. Directing families with young children away from units that aren’t completely de-leaded
c. Giving families with young children priority preference when de-leaded units become available
COACH’S ANSWERS & EXPLANATIONS
Correct answer: a
Reason: The principles discussed in Rule 1 and Rule 5 apply to this situation:
Rule 1: Don’t Exclude Families to Protect Their Children
Rule 5: Don’t Fail to Tell Families About Vacancies Because the Unit Contains Lead
Your obligation in this situation is to fully disclose the presence of lead hazards in the apartment so that the couple can make an informed decision about whether they want to lease it and then honor that decision once they make it. What you can’t do is deny them the apartment because it’s unsafe. If they still want the unit, you’ll also have to take steps to control the lead hazards before allowing the couple to move in, particularly if you’re housing is federally assisted or located in Massachusetts or another state or municipality with a law that bans leasing apartments containing lead hazards to families with children under age 6. So, a. is the right answer.
Wrong answers explained:
b. is wrong because failing to provide comprehensive and accurate information about availabilities is a classic form of housing discrimination. This is especially true when you deliberately don’t tell prospects about available units in an attempt to deny them the housing on the basis of their protected characteristics, such as concealing available units that contain lead hazards from families.
c. is also wrong because disclosure of lead hazards is only part of what landlords must do; the other element necessary to ensure compliance is to allow and respect families’ decisions to lease housing containing lead, provided that they meet your credit history and other legitimate qualifications.
Correct answer: b
Reason: The principles discussed in Rule 3 and Rule 4 come into play in this situation:
Rule 3: Directing Families to De-Leaded Units Isn’t Illegal Steering
Rule 4: Directing Families Away from Leaded Units Is Illegal Steering
The general rule is that trying to influence a prospect’s choice of housing on the basis of what you think would be best for their children is illegal steering. Accordingly, steering families away from units because they contain lead hazards is a no-no, even if protecting the child’s health and safety is your sincere and sole motive for doing so. As a result, b. is the correct answer.
Wrong answers explained:
a. also involves steering. The reason it’s not illegal, and thus not the correct answer, is that HUD says it’s acceptable for landlords to try to steer families toward de-leaded housing. “Affirmatively marketing units where lead-based paint hazards have been controlled to families with children is consistent with fair housing laws and with the need to protect the public welfare,” according to HUD Guidance.
c. is also the wrong answer because while affording preferences in housing to certain groups on the basis of protected characteristics goes against the grain of fair housing laws, the HUD Guidance gives the green light to letting families with young children have first dibs on de-leaded apartments when there’s only a limited number of such units available.
See The Lesson For This Quiz
|How to Avoid Family Status Discrimination When Managing Lead Paint Hazards