November 2012 Coach's Quiz
We’ve given you five rules to follow to avoid problems during fair housing testing. Now let’s look at how the rules might apply in the real world. Take the COACH’s Quiz to see what you’ve 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. The correct answers (with explanations) follow the quiz. Good luck!
From the way a prospect is asking questions, you believe she’s really a fair housing tester. You should:
a. Try to get her out the door as soon as possible to avoid any inadvertent slip-ups.
b. Treat her the same as everyone else by taking as much time as necessary to respond to her questions.
c. Give her extra attention by going out of your way to make sure you can’t be accused of any fair housing violation.
You have a vacancy in a studio apartment, but it’s very small so you think that it would be best for only one person. Nevertheless, posting an online ad with language that it’s “Perfect for Singles” could trigger a fair housing investigation. True or false?
A prospect visits your office, asking about available one-bedroom units in your community. Since he’s in a wheelchair, you tell him about a unit on the first floor near the building entrance, but not available units in more distant locations or on upper floors. Though you have his welfare and convenience at heart, you could face a fair housing problem because of your conduct. True or false?
COACH’S ANSWERS & EXPLANATIONS
Correct answer: b
Reason: Rule #1 applies here:
Rule #1: Treat All Prospects as if They’re Fair Housing Testers
Your best bet is to treat all individuals contacting or visiting your community as if they were part of a fair housing test. Treat all prospects with professionalism and courtesy, starting with the initial contact—whether online, on the phone, or visits to your property.
Wrong answers explained:
a. Even if you believe that a particular prospect is a tester because of the type of questions she’s asking, it’s a mistake to rush her out the door quickly. Fair housing testers are trained to look for differences in treatment—and giving her short shrift because you’re nervous may give the false impression that you’re treating her brusquely because of a protected characteristic.
b. By the same token, it’s a mistake to go overboard to lavish extra attention on a prospect even if you suspect she’s a fair housing tester.
Correct answer: a
Reason: Rule #2 applies here:
Rule #2: Incorporate Fair Housing into Your Community’s SOP
Enforcement officials and private fair housing advocates are monitoring online advertising, so it’s important to follow standard advertising policies whenever you post a vacancy. Advertising a particular unit as perfect for singles could suggest a preference against families with children—which may be enough to trigger a broader fair housing investigation.
Correct answer: a
Reason: Rule #3 applies here:
Rule #3: Ensure Consistency in the Leasing Office
Testing often focuses on differences in the information provided to prospects about the availability of units, so you could face a fair housing problem for failing to disclose all available one-bedroom units to the prospect because of his disability. Moreover, even if well-intended, guiding him to a particular unit—and away from other suitable units—could be considered unlawful steering.
See The Lesson For This Quiz
|Be Prepared for Fair Housing Testers|