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Questions about the Fair Housing Act Regulations

The Fair Housing Act outlaws discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, disability, national origin, and familial status when renting or selling housing or a dwelling. These housing rights cover private housing, housing provided by state and local governments, and housing that has federal loans or other assistance. Listed below are some top questions answered by Experts on issues that relate to the Fair Housing Act.

Does the Fair Housing Act protect an existing, leased condominium unit from the association wanting an end date for the lease?

The Fair Housing Act was created to prohibit discrimination based on protected classes like race, gender, religion, and disability. Whether condominium associations can demand that existing leases have to have end dates or not does should not fall under the Act’s set of rules and regulations.

This is a question that relates to a federally subsidized housing property. Is it a Fair Housing Act violation to ask a tenant (or applicant) to submit a copy of the IRS income tax 1040 and/or require them to sign a waiver stating that they did not file a tax return?

This would probably not be considered a violation of the Fair Housing Act. Most landlords are required to verify an applicant’s income and showing tax returns is one of the forms that can be legally requested.

What are the Home Owners Association’s (HOA) rights to restrict the selling or renting of a unit? How does the Fair Housing Act impact it?

The HOA is not allowed to discriminate in the selling or renting of a property based on factors like color, age, ethnicity, religion, national origin, sex, and disability of an individual. The HOA could restrict rules regarding the renting of a home located in the Association area. However, to the extent that the Fair Housing Act differs from the rules laid down by the HOA, the Fair Housing Act would most likely take precedence in a case like this.

We have been experiencing discrimination against seniors in a housing-related issue in Bellevue that is being done by the city itself. The city official feels they do not need to adhere to the Fair Housing Act and has challenged us to report them. Who can we go to for legal help in resolving this?

What you could do is visit the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) office closest to your neighborhood and report your city to them. In addition, you could also try and file a lawsuit against the city under the Fair Housing Act. For more information on where to find a HUD office near you, visit this link: http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/states

I live in Maryland and have a doctor’s letter stating that I need to have a dog to help my mental stability. There is a no-dog rule in the by-laws of the condo I stay in. Is there anything I can do about this?

In most cases, the only kind of dog that would get around the by-laws would be a service dog such as one that is trained to help people with hearing or sight impairments. A pet who is there purely as a companion will probably not get around the no-dog rules of your association easily, even if you say that its presence affects your emotional health positively.

You could talk to your physician about this. If he can render a professional opinion stating that you have a disability, then there is a chance that the association will have to listen to you based on what is laid down under the Fair Housing Act.

If the association still does nothing, you could think about filing a complaint about the violation of the Fair Housing Act with HUD. If you would like more information or to file a complaint, contact:

Office of Program Compliance and Disability Rights
Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development XXXXX S.W. , Room 5242
Washington, D.C. 20410
www.hud.gov/offices/fheo

The Fair Housing Act protects tenants from discrimination and enables them to file complaints against their owners for violation of the rules. That’s why it’s important for both tenants and landlords to understand how the Act works.

Ask a Real Estate Lawyer

Tina
Tina, Lawyer
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 5328
Experience:  17 years of legal experience including real estate law.
4460311
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Recent Fair Housing Questions

  • I live in a ground level 2 bedroom apartment. Recently a family

    I live in a ground level 2 bedroom apartment. Recently a family of 5 plus 2 medium sized dogs (Labs) move in above me. They are extremely noisy and wake me up prio 7 am nearly every day I have heard that the law is no more than 2 people per bedroom. Is this true in California?
  • My daughter has been perscribed a emotional support animal

    My daughter has been perscribed a emotional support animal by her therapist. We got her a dog and got the dog certified. We emailed everything to her landlord because her lease does not allow for dogs. Her landload was mean and rude and refused to discuss the matter with her. We fedex all of the paperwork to her so we had a signature that she received all of the paperwork and again asked for to amend the lease. Again no reponse. So i called her and talked to her directly. She said she refused to do anything until she talked with her lawyer. I said fine to call me if she had any questions. My daughters condition is not getting better and i do believe the dog will make it better. Should we just bring the dog into the appt since we have all the needed paperowk or what is the next step
  • I am a 72 year old wheelchair bound sole owner of a condominium

    I am a 72 year old wheelchair bound sole owner of a condominium in Manatee County, Florida. The Board of Directors are a group of highly contentious people Never before this fall when many of the board members returned from their northern homes has there been any restriction on who could attend the board meetings, which are pro forma as all decisions have been made prior to the "MEETING." My sister has lived with me the last 2 years and is my caregiver in all respects. I go nowhere without her. We were informed that she, as a non-owner cannot attend the meetings with me. The meetinggs are held at our swimming pool area about 200 yards from my condo unit, only accessible by sidewalk. My sister was ousted from the meeting on Friday with the excuse that some LAW prohibits anyone but OWNERS of the condos from attending. I cannot attend without her. The board has refused to make one of the bathrooms at the pool handicap accessible per Fair Housing Act. They refuse to give me a citation or copy of the alleged law prohibiting my sister as a non-owner to attend, despite my physical condition. Can you direct me to where I can find any law pertaining to this topic and read it for myself. They are well aware she is my caregiver. Thank you
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