There has been a lot of activity from HUD on Fair Housing cases during the end of 2022 and half way through this year. Below are some examples of enforcement actions, orders and settlements:
CALIFORNIA – $3,000,000! That was the settlement against a management company of 48 apartment complexes where the rules prohibited any outdoor play activities and required supervision in all common areas for younger (under 14) children. Read the Press Release.
CALIFORNIA – In this case HUD alleges, “when the couple first rented the one-bedroom apartment, they were pregnant with their first child. They later had a second child. The Charge asserts that even before the couple moved into the apartment, [Landlord] expressed displeasure that a child would be living in the unit and suggested that the couple rent a larger, more expensive unit instead. From then on, she made repeated efforts to convince the couple to move to a larger unit, although the couple made clear they could not afford it. After learning that the couple was expecting a second child, Teruel allegedly increased her efforts, repeatedly telling the couple that their children would cause damage to the apartment. Feeling harassed and at risk of imminent eviction, the family moved out of the apartment.” Read the Press Release.
CALIFORNIA – This is what happens when a maintenance employee sexually harasses a tenant and, when informed of the misconduct, the manager retaliates. Read the Press Release.
It is worth noting that, through a federally led effort called the “Sexual Harassment in Housing Initiative,” the Department of Justice has brought multiple cases involving similar deplorable behavior.
MISSOURI – Have you ever heard of the “Mrs. Murphy” exemption from the Fair Housing Act? Well, it has to do with rentals within an owner-occupied residence. In this HUD Order, trying to wrongfully assert the exemption cost the landlord $10,200 in damages and a $5,500 civil penalty. The case involved a finding of discrimination against a single father and his children due to familial status. Read the Press Release.
New Jersey – What is a Fair Housing Update without a charge by HUD involving a service animal. The HUD Charge in this case is interesting because it also makes allegations against a realtor. Read the Press Release.
TEXAS – A Plano Texas judge ordered the owners of an apartment complex and its managers to pay a $140,649 judgment in a racial discrimination case. It is an interesting case for manufactured housing because the case involved discriminatory advertising on craigslist. Read the Press Release. As this case went to a full hearing, the final (albeit, somewhat lengthy) is worth a read.
TEXAS – Here is one I’ve not heard of in the past, but certainly worth a look for most communities. HUD has charged an apartment operator with Fair Housing Act violations refusing “to modify the monthly payment date and waive late fees for two tenants who use Social Security Disability Income to pay their rent.” Read the Press Release.
While this is just a sampling of recent actions, all of HUD’s Press Releases can be found by clicking here.