October 2012 Coach's Quiz
We’ve given you six rules to comply with fair housing law when dealing with environmental concerns. 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!
If you are motivated by safety concerns, it’s lawful to tell families with young children only about vacancies in units where you know that any lead-based paint hazards have already been addressed. True or false?
One of your residents calls your office to complain every time your landscaping crew works near her building. She insists that chemicals used in conventional pesticides and herbicides are dangerous and that you should use only organic products. In her most recent call, she says she has developed a special allergy to these products and threatens to file a discrimination complaint unless you stop using them immediately. You should:
a. Ignore her; she probably just made it up to get your attention.
b. Stop using the products immediately; fair housing law requires you to grant her request as a reasonable accommodation for her disability.
c. Follow up by asking her for more information in accordance with your standard procedures for handling reasonable accommodation requests.
Although your policy doesn’t restrict residents from smoking outside, several residents have complained about people smoking outside on balconies and near building entrances. To avoid fair housing problems, you must adopt a policy to ban smoking anywhere at your community.
COACH’S ANSWERS & EXPLANATIONS
Correct answer: b
Reason: Rule #1 applies here:
Rule #1: Don’t Exclude Families with Children to Avoid Lead-Based Paint Exposure
Even if motivated by concerns for children’s welfare, it’s a violation of the FHA’s familial status provisions to deny housing to families with children under 18. The law requires you to tell them about all vacancies that meet their needs—even units where lead-based paint hazards are not controlled. If the family chooses one of those units, you must notify them of the risks of lead-based paint, but you may not decline to let them live there because the family has children.
Correct answer: c
Reason: Rules #2 & #3 apply here:
Rule #2: Don’t Dismiss Environmental Concerns
Rule #3: Carefully Consider Requests Related to Chemical Sensitivities
Whatever your personal opinions about whether she really has a disability, her complaint qualifies as a request for a reasonable accommodation since she said she has a disability-related need for a change to your standard procedures in maintaining the property.
Wrong answers explained:
a. Even if you suspect she made the whole thing up, you could face a discrimination claim unless you take her complaint seriously.
b. Fair housing law doesn’t require you to grant accommodation requests unless they’re made by or on behalf of an individual with a disability. Following your standard procedures to get more information about her claims of a special sensitivity to chemicals used by your landscaping crew will enable you to fully evaluate whether you must grant her request as a reasonable accommodation.
Correct answer: b
Reason: Rule #5 applies here:
Rule #5: Look Closely at Smoking Policies
In general, fair housing law doesn’trequire you to ban smoking anywhere at your community, although you may consider adopting policies to curb or prohibit smoking if you choose to do so. If any of the complaints about secondhand smoke is related to a disability, you should follow your standard policies for handling reasonable accommodation requests. Although a community-wide ban may not be reasonable, it may be necessary to consider alternatives that would meet the resident’s disability-related problems with exposure to secondhand smoke.
See The Lesson For This Quiz
|Going Green: How to Ensure Fair Housing Compliance When Addressing Environmental Concerns|