November 2008 Coach's Quiz
We have given you eight rules on how on comply with fair housing requirements when faced with a request from a resident with a disability to transfer to a particular unit within a community. 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.
And this month, there's an extra-credit assignment: JUDGE FOR YOURSELF, a description of an actual dispute that wound up in federal court. Test yourself on whether you think the community acted properly, and then check out the summary of the court's ruling to see how much you have learned.
COACH'S TIP: The correct answers (with explanations) follow the quiz. Good luck!
A resident has developed an obvious mobility disorder and needs a live-in aide, so he asks for a transfer to a two-bedroom unit on the first floor. You have a suitable unit available, so you must agree to his request. True or false?
A month after signing a year's lease, a resident asks to be moved to another unit because of the noise from her next-door neighbors, a family with young children. Your community has never received complaints about the family, but the resident says “the noise is getting on her nerves.” When you tell her that your community's transfer policy requires 60 days' notice, she moves out immediately and files a disability discrimination complaint. Is your community liable?
Extra Credit: Judge for Yourself
A new resident moves into a first-floor unit. The community is aware that he has schizophrenia and depression but that he is able to live independently and has no special needs. He pays his rent on time and properly maintains the condition of his unit.
A few months after he moves in, however, the community receives a complaint from his upstairs neighbor about the resident's noisy behavior. The neighbor, who has lived there for five years, says she is unable to sleep because the resident is screaming and slamming doors throughout the night.
The manager contacts the resident's social worker, but the disturbances continue and the neighbor registers another complaint. In addition to contacting the social worker again, the manager soundproofs the disabled resident's front door. The manager offers to transfer the neighbor, but she refuses to move.
At the end of the year, the community has received more than a half-dozen complaints. The manager decides not renew the resident's lease, but his social worker asks the manager to renew the lease for another year and to contact him immediately upon receipt of any complaints, as a reasonable accommodation for the resident's disability.
The manager grants the resident several extensions, but the neighbor continues to complain about the resident's excessive noisemaking. Eventually, the manager refuses to grant any further extensions and asks the resident to leave. In the weeks leading up to the deadline, the manager does not respond to several requests from the social worker to meet to discuss reasonable accommodations.
The resident moves out and sues the community for failure to provide reasonable accommodations. The resident says that the community should have accommodated his disability by moving him or the neighbor to another unit. Is the community liable for disability discrimination?