Tip of the Fair Housing Defense blog cap today to the Fort Worth/Mid Cities Chapter of the National Association of Residential Property Managers. These good people flew me to Texas yesterday to conduct a seminar on emerging issues in our fair housing world.  We spent the time discussing, among other points, service animals, emotional support animals, and criminal background screens.  Specifically, we reviewed the what is required of a reasonable accommodation request related to an animal, how management should respond, potential issues for management, what we are seeing in the new world of internet-based medical verifications and how to appropriately push back, how some people are attempting to abuse the law as well as best practices for criminal background screens, particularly after HUD’s new April 2016 guidance.

For me, these opportunities are terrific because I get to leave my desk and learn first hand which issues are facing residential housing professionals day to day as they engage in the interactive process with our current residents and attempt to turn prospects into new residents.

Indeed, while I absolutely defend fair housing complaints filed across the country, some of the best work we can do together is interactive training to avoid problems turning into formal complaints. It is kind of like that old commercial for Fram oil filters – you can pay a lawyer like me a little now, or a lot later.

Just A Thought.