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, April 21, 2010

Fair Housing Month: Third Announced HUD Charge Highlights Accessibility Battle

Many tenants who have physical disabilities need accommodations, modifications, or both to get full use and enjoyment of their housing. When tenants make accommodation or modification requests, landlords must take them seriously and grant them if they're reasonable. Landlords who deny tenants' reasonable requests may face charges for violating the Fair Housing Act's (FHA) ban on disability-based discrimination.

That's what just happened to housing providers in Miami, Florida. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) third announced charge of Fair Housing Month, when a double-amputee veteran requested modifications to his apartment or a transfer to an accessible apartment, he allegedly was refused.

The tenant then contacted the county commissioner's office, which got the landlord to allow a transfer. However, the new apartment wasn't accessible either, and when the tenant moved back to his original apartment, he now found it was missing a stove.

The landlord, unhappy with the fact the tenant got the local government involved, allegedly threatened eviction, leading the tenant to pursue a fair housing complaint with HUD.

The landlord and management company will now need to defend themselves against the charge before a HUD administrative law judge.

Return tomorrow for the twenty-second part of this special "Fair Housing Month" feature at Fairhousingblog.com.

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