March 2017 Coach's Quiz
We’ve pointed out the seven biggest mistakes that lead to fair housing trouble when asking for disability-related information. 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.
When screening applicants, it is a violation of fair housing law to ask any disability-related questions. True or false?
Although your community has a policy of providing unassigned parking, an applicant says he wants an assigned parking space near to the building entrance because of a disability. He doesn’t use a cane or appear to have any difficulty walking, but you could trigger fair housing trouble if you ignore his request. True or false?
At the same community, you get another request for a parking accommodation—this time from a resident in a wheelchair who asks for a reserved parking space near to the building entrance. If you ask him for documentation to verify that he has disability-related need for the parking accommodation, you could trigger a fair housing complaint. True or false?
Although our community has a no-pet policy, a resident asks for an exception to keep his dog as an assistance animal and submits a letter from his treating healthcare provider that he has a disability and that the dog provides emotional support to alleviate the symptoms of his disability. Since he’s requested a reasonable accommodation, you should send your standard forms to his doctor to verify that that he has a disability-related need to keep the dog as an assistance animal. True or false?
COACH’S ANSWERS AND EXPLANATIONS
Correct answer: b
Reason: Mistake #1 applies here:
Mistake #1: Asking for Disability-Related Information When You’re Not Supposed to
Under the FHA, it’s generally unlawful to ask applicants about whether they or a family member have a disability or about the nature and severity of such a disability. Nevertheless, there are a few disability-related questions that you may ask during the screening process, provided you ask all applicants, regardless of whether they have a disability. For example, you may ask applicants whether they may be qualified for units that are available only to individuals with a disability or for a priority available only to individuals with disabilities.
Correct answer: a
Reason: Mistake #3 applies here:
Mistake #3: Treating Requests from People Who Don’t Have Obvious Disabilities with Suspicion
You can’t ignore the applicant’s request for an assigned parking space close to the building simply because he doesn’t display any outward appearance of a disability. Under fair housing law, the definition of “disability” is broad enough to cover an array of physical impairments, such as a heart or lung condition, which would not require use of a cane but may significantly affect his ability to walk long distances. Treat the request as a request for a reasonable accommodation and follow up by requesting verification of his disability in accordance with fair housing rules regarding disability-related inquiries.
Correct answer: a
Reason: Mistakes #2 & #4 apply here:
Mistake #2: Asking for Verification When There’s an Obvious Disability-Related Need for Accommodation
Mistake #4: Adopting a ‘One-Size Fits All’ Policy for Disability Verification
When it comes to reasonable accommodation requests, each must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Sometimes you may need to ask applicants and residents who request reasonable accommodations to provide certain disability-related information, but don’t make the mistake of assuming you must do the same with everyone who asks for a reasonable accommodation. When a resident with an obvious mobility impairment asks for a parking space near the entrance to the building, you can’t ask him for further information because both the disability and the disability-related need for the accommodation are readily apparent.
Correct answer: b
Reason: Mistake #5 applies here:
Mistake #5: Requiring Everyone to Use Your Forms
It’s a good idea to have standard forms for verifying disability, but it’s a mistake to insist on using your forms when people making reasonable accommodation requests come in with their own documentation to verify disability. If he has provided documentation from a reliable source that he has a disability and a disability-related need to keep the dog, then you could get into fair housing trouble if you ask for more information to support his request.
See The Lesson For This Quiz
|Avoid the 7 Biggest Mistakes When Verifying Disability