Fair Housing vs. Unfair Housing

Do you know the difference?

Knowing the difference between fair housing and unfair housing isn't as obvious as you might think. This blog aims to present a variety of important and interesting fair housing issues.

If you're an apartment professional, avoid costly mistakes by reading the stories of others who — even with good intentions — learned compliance lessons the hard way. (For the easy way, click here.)

If you live in an apartment, get familiar with your rights when it comes to housing discrimination, as well as your options for seeking justice.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

"Hard and Fast"? Not So Fast...

The owners and operators of an 85-unit Lancaster, Pennsylvania apartment complex have agreed to pay for allegedly refusing to rent apartments to people who need a guide dog to accommodate a visual impairment.

According to the proposed consent order, the rental agent informed testers (posing as visually impaired prospects) that the complex's policy of banning dogs was a "hard and fast rule," and that management told her that no dogs — including guide dogs — may live on the property under any circumstances. The owners and operators, however, claimed they never gave the rental agent such instructions and that they would allow a tenant to live with a dog if the animal were needed as a reasonable accommodation for a disability.

Under the order, which the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed on October 8, 2008 and is subject to court approval, the owners and operators will pay up to $25,000 to compensate victims of the alleged discrimination, on top of a $35,500 civil penalty. In addition, they have agreed to set up non-discriminatory procedures and undergo fair housing training.

No comments: