September 2015 Coach's Quiz
We have reviewed recent court cases to show how communities have fared in defending themselves from fair housing claims filed by their residents. Now you can 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. The correct answers (with explanations) follow the quiz. Good luck!
A resident has complained about racially discriminatory comments and conduct by the resident in a neighboring unit. What should you do?
a. Nothing; you’re not liable for disputes between neighbors.
b. Tell her to stop bothering you about neighborhood squabbles.
c. Investigate, and if warranted, take steps to address the problem.
You receive a phone call from a female resident complaining that a maintenance worker made a suggestive comment while he was repairing her shower. When you ask the maintenance worker about it, he denies saying anything inappropriate. You know the resident has a history of making complaints about a variety of problems, so you don’t have to do anything else.
A resident, who uses a wheelchair due to a mobility impairment, requests an accessible assigned parking space close to the entrance to his unit. Parking spaces at your community are not assigned, and accessible spaces are available at the building entrances on a first-come, first-served basis. You must grant the resident’s request for an exception to the policy as a reasonable accommodation. True or false?
COACH’S ANSWERS & EXPLANATIONS
Correct answer: c
You may not have to get involved in all disputes among neighbors, but keep your ears open for any suggestion of harassment or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin, and disability. If a resident complains about being harassed by other residents based on his race or other protected class, then you should take the complaints seriously. Fair housing experts advise that you should investigate the complaints and, if true, take action to stop the harassment.
Wrong answers explained:
a. Results have been mixed in the courts, but you could face a fair housing claim for failure to stop resident-on-resident harassment. Depending on the circumstances, owners may be held liable for discrimination or harassment by managers, employees, and even outside contractors or other residents, if they knew or should have known about the problem, but did nothing to stop it.
b. Warning the resident to stop bothering you with complaints is even more likely to trigger a fair housing complaint than simply ignoring her complaints. And you could be accused of violating the FHA’s ban on retaliation if your comments are viewed as intimidating or threatening the resident for asserting her rights under fair housing law.
Correct answer: b
Sexual harassment is considered a form of housing discrimination based on sex, so it’s a mistake to ignore accusations of sexual harassment against your employees—even if you don’t believe them. Take the complaint seriously, conduct an investigation, and document your findings. If you ignore it, it could escalate into a fair housing formal complaint and, if substantiated, lead to potential liability for large damage awards—and costly attorney’s fees.
Correct answer: a
It’s unlawful to refuse to make reasonable accommodations to rules, policies, practices, or services when such accommodations may be necessary for an individual with a disability to use and enjoy his home. To show that a requested accommodation may be necessary, there must be an identifiable relationship between the requested accommodation and the individual’s disability, according to federal guidelines. Since the resident has a disability-related need for the assigned accessible parking space, you must grant his request for an exception to your parking policy as a reasonable accommodation.
See The Lesson For This Quiz
|Legal Update: Recent Court Rulings on Fair Housing Law|