Last week, the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) issued a press release to announce it resolved a disability discrimination case in November 2018 filed against a New Jersey age 55 and over condominium association involving claims that the condo association violated the Fair Housing Act (FHA) by refusing to sell a couple a home because the couple intended to have their disabled adult daughter live with them.
As a part of the consent order concluding the case, the condo association agreed to play a $9,000 civil monetary penalty as well as adopt various anti-discrimination policies and take at least two hours of fair housing training.
While the HUD press release and consent order concerning this case do not provide many facts, it is likely the condo association felt stuck between two competing interests: its formation documents requiring that residents in the condominium be age 55 and over and the FHA, which requires reasonable accommodations when appropriate to individuals who are disabled. The lesson here is to speak with a lawyer like me when confronted with what are believed to be conflicting fair housing related laws so we can make the best decision and reduce the risk of a complaint such as was filed here.
Happy New Year to all (including my wife…let’s see if she actually reads this post). Your humble Fair Housing Defense blog editor will be back next week with my favorite annual post: The Top Ten Fair Housing Defense Blog posts of the preceding year.
Just A Thought.