Do You Know Fair Housing and ADA as Well as You Think You Do?

39 Replies

Hey everyone! We've got our next quiz up and ready for you to take a stab at!

This quiz was made by our amazing member Matthew Olszak, who is a Managing Broker from Chicago, and knows his fair share about AHA and Fair Housing.

Take his QUIZ and let us know what you think!

And......we're off! 

7 of 10. That was a little tricky.

Good golly! That was hard. 

harder than I thought.  Only one that really caught me by surprise was the owner occupied duplex and not wanting children in the other unit because of noise.

I thought it was okay, but it says its still wrong. 

I do remember a part of the clause was that the owner had to be older....maybe that's the difference or I am completely wrong.

@Rich N. If the owner is the one renting the unit in an o/o duplex, then yes, the unit is exempt (but not from advertising rules - ie you can't say "no kids" in your hotpads post).

However, if they are using a broker/agent, then that exemption goes away, which was the key to the question.

FYI here is a recent case I came across of a small landlord who is in hot water with the FHA for the "no kids" issue: https://www.hud.gov/press/press_releases_media_advisories/2017/HUDNo_17-091

wow, 50%! Time to study up...

90%, but fresh out of real estate classes on fair housing 😉

Originally posted by @Jim Adrian :

@Hilary Catton or @Matthew Olszak

Since these questions are over laws, is it possible to list the law reference number within the answer or on here? 

Most answers are based on a mix of the law as its written, case law, gov't direction/memos or whatever they are called, and experience. Is there a particular answer you disagree with or want to know more about?

Good test but most of us will never deal with ADA. I missed one and had to guess on another. The Fair Housing questions were good.

Originally posted by @Nathan G. :

Good test but most of us will never deal with ADA. I missed one and had to guess on another. The Fair Housing questions were good.

Thanks. I haven't personally dealt w/ ADA and hopefully never will have to, but recently at our local Realtor Association GAD meeting it was mentioned that there is a growing problem across the country of "drive-by lawsuits". Basically attorneys convince a disabled person to ride along with them, they find a minor ADA issue like a sidewalk that is x degrees too steep in front of a multifamily or a paper towel holder mounted too high in a public bathroom, then sue. Federal law only requires that notice be provided that a violation of the ADA has been committed, not what the actual violation is. The owner then has to scramble to figure out what the heck might be wrong, and if they don't rectify the mystery issue in time, the atty files a lawsuit. Then the owner has to choose against trying to fight a lawsuit in federal court (super big $$$) or just settle. Most settle, and those who don't and lose are ordered to fix the issue and pay the plaintiff's atty fees. So the big winners are just the attorneys. Because of this, more and more states are passing laws prohibiting this behavior, which is definitely a cause we all should be supporting as landlords/PMs.

I got 50%. That was good thanks for sharing.

Yikes!  30%!  Just one more reason to be sure I forever use a PM.  ;-)

@Hilary Catton , where can I find other quizzes?  I don't see them listed in the drop down menus.  It would also be handy to have a link to the thread that announces them so we can see what others are saying or get info on answers explained in the thread.  :-)  Thanks for doing this!

@Matthew Olszak I’m questioning the accuracy of you stating an owner who lives in the other half of a duplex not being exempt if they use a broker/agent.

That clause is only applicable to the instance of the owner having 3 or less single family homes, so it essentially only comes into play with single family homes, not multi-family.

I dealt with this matter myself, and after extensive research, including the department of justice and HUD websites, I never came across any language listing that clause next to multi-families. It was always only attached to single families. I then got a real estate lawyer to confirm my findings, and they came to the same conclusion.

Got a 90% on the quiz. Thanks for putting it together.

Nailed it. Thanks for putting that together, it is so important to keep that information fresh in mind.

6/10. The one that surprised me the most was the Section 8 income requirements. Having a Section 8 property, that is excellent information to know. 

It seems odd the federal government would have that policy, but hey, that's our tax dollars at work. We were hesitant to go Section 8, but thus far have been very happy having the rent show up on time.

Incidentally, going in to the quiz, my logic has always been to treat all tenants and prospects equally. Thanks for letting me know that isn't enough.

Learned a lot, thanks didn’t know about having to allow ADA tenants build accommodations for the building. I thought that was the landlords jobs

Originally posted by @Stan Hill :

6/10. The one that surprised me the most was the Section 8 income requirements. Having a Section 8 property, that is excellent information to know. 

It seems odd the federal government would have that policy, but hey, that's our tax dollars at work. We were hesitant to go Section 8, but thus far have been very happy having the rent show up on time.

Incidentally, going in to the quiz, my logic has always been to treat all tenants and prospects equally. Thanks for letting me know that isn't enough.

 An important part of that question got cut off. It should have said, "In municipalities with source-of-income discrimination laws, [...]".  That missing part is very important because on a federal level income isn't a protected class (yet), so that restriction might not apply to you. But in areas where legal source of income is a protected class via state, county, or city laws/ordinances, "income multipliers" can only be applied to the portion of the rent the tenant is responsible for.

Originally posted by @Gregory L. :

Matthew Olszak I’m questioning the accuracy of you stating an owner who lives in the other half of a duplex not being exempt if they use a broker/agent.

That clause is only applicable to the instance of the owner having 3 or less single family homes, so it essentially only comes into play with single family homes, not multi-family.

I dealt with this matter myself, and after extensive research, including the department of justice and HUD websites, I never came across any language listing that clause next to multi-families. It was always only attached to single families. I then got a real estate lawyer to confirm my findings, and they came to the same conclusion.

Some time ago when I was researching the issue I came across this explanation from a law firm that works w/ fair housing cases: https://fairhousing.foxrothschild.com/2010/06/arti...

Re-reading the law as its written, I agree with you that the broker part is only attached to sfh. Unfortunately they don't cite any case law in the link above. What they say makes sense to me, that a broker is considered to know the law so they shouldn't be exempt.

That being said, the broker themselves would likely get in trouble with their state, as most if not all state's licencing laws prohibit discriminating even if the client demands we do so.

And keep in mind, the exemption only applies to criteria, but not advertising which is where most people burn themselves.

@Matthew Olszak Yes, I’ve read their site in the past several times. It simply doesn’t go into as much detail as it should, but if you read the law it’s pretty clear. You’re right, it doesn’t apply to advertising, but someone who lives in a multi-family of 4 units or less, and who uses a broker can still be exempt from FHA laws. Of course state statutes come into play, so that must be checked as well.

I feel the need at times to state this, because I’ve seen so many emphatically state that “if a broker is used you’re not exempt”, which isn’t entirely true. I believe landlords should know they have options, and don’t have to cower anytime someone yells “I have a service dog, ESA, etc.”, like many tenants seem to expect.

@Matthew Olszak Also, the state statutes, at least in Florida, state the same as the law, so I’d think brokers/agents wouldn’t get into trouble in such instances. My law office of course came to the conclusion after reviewing federal and state laws. I could understand a broker not wanting to take the chance, but in that event I’d simply find one who’s more comfortable/knowledgeable of the law as it’s written.

I specialize in ADA, it’s weird that laws written are too long for me to read and it only all boils down to memorizing ranges of things being put together, couldn’t be more than 2 pages long on a times new roman font 12. nevertheless i’m 6/10, failed miserably on fair housing lol.

I got a 90%. I did take a fair housing class about a year ago I’m glad I did.

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