Fair Housing Act

Sexual harassment of tenant by property manager violates Fair Housing Act

The Eleventh Circuit joins other courts that have held that sexual harassment by a landlord (or an agent of the landlord) can constitute sex discrimination in violation of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §3601 to §3613 if the behavior would not have occurred but for the tenant's sex.

This formulation has been adopted by other courts, see United States v. Hurt, 676 F.3d 649 (9th Cir. 2012), Quigley v. Winter, 598 F.3d 938 (8th Cir. 2010), and suggests that a landlord that sexually harasses both men and women would not be liable for engaging in sex discrimination — a result that...

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Trump administration withdraws Obama era rules on “affirmatively furthering fair housing” (AFFH)

Although the Fair Housing Act (FHA) requires any government entity managing or receiving federal funds “affirmatively to further fair housing,” (AFFH), 42 U.S.C. §3608(e)(5), enforcement of this provision has been remarkably lax since the passage of the FHA in 1968.

 

The Obama Administration...

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City can enforce ban on pit bulls against resident who needs emotional support animal when he had other dogs that might serve that purpose

The Nebraska Supreme Court faced a claim by a resident that he had a right under fair housing laws to a reasonable accommodation of a city law that prohibited residents from owning pit bulls due to their perceived dangerousness. Wilkison v. City of Arapahoe, 926 N.W.2d 441 (Neb. 2019). Because the resident had other dogs, and he could not prove that they could not serve...

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Resolving conflicts between tenant with allergies and those needing support animals

In a case typical of a property law class, the Supreme Court of Iowa confronted a conflict between one tenant who needed an emotional support animal and another who was allergic to dogs. Cohen v. Clark, 945 N.W.2d 792 (Iowa 2020). The lease for both tenants contained a “no pets” clause. The question was whether the landlord had a duty under fair housing laws to make an exception...

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Virginia prohibits sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination in housing and public accommodations

By passage of the Virginia Values Act, Virginia joins 22 other states and the District of Columbia in prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in public accommodations and housing (as well as employment). Va. Stat. §2.2-3904 and §36–96.3 (as amended by 2020 Va. H.B. 1663 (Feb. 27, 2020)).

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Landlord may be liable for fair housing violation if no response to one tenant's racial harassment of another

 

In the case of Francis v. King's Park Manor, Inc., 2019 WL 6646495 (2d Cir. 2019), a tenant engaged in a vicious campaign of abuse and intimidation of another tenant, coming to his door and threatening to kill him and repeatedly yelling at him and calling him the...

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Fifth Circuit rules that landlord rejection of Section 8 housing voucher recipients does not violate the Fair Housing Act by imposing a disparate impact on the basis of race

Persons in need of financial assistance to afford housing are in a variety of categories of persons protected by the Fair Housing Act. African Americans are more likely than white persons to be poor; women of all races are more likely to be poor than men; persons with disabilities are more likely to need government assistance than...

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Supreme Court to decide whether discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity are forms of "sex" discrimination under federal laws

The Supreme Court accepted certiorari in three cases (Altitude Express, Inc. v. Zarda, Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, and R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, Inc. v. EEOC) and will determine whether federal employment discrimination laws that ban "sex" discrimination cover discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or...

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City of Miami has standing to challenge discriminatory mortgage lending policies of banks

On remand from a Supreme Court ruling that cities can be "aggrieved persons" injured by discriminatory housing practices, Bank of America Corp. v. City of Miami, 137 S.Ct. 1296 (U.S. 2017), the Eleventh Circuit held that the City of Miami had alleged sufficient injury to have standing to bring a Fair Housing Act claim against...

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To avoid engaging in discrimination, Facebook changes its policy that had allowed advertisers for housing, employment, and credit to select which users could see their ads

Responding to a lawsuit filed by the National Fair Housing Alliance and others that alleged discrimination against families with children, women, persons with disabilities, and on the basis of national origin, Facebook announced changes in its policies to avoid engaging in discriminatory advertisements. Brakkton Booker, ...

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