Many of the Fair Housing Act violations alleged in the latest cases prosecuted by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) involve apparent violations. It is hard to imagine in today’s atmosphere that a landlord would demand sexual favors from a tenant or tell a prospective tenant they need to speak Engish. However, even when the cases involve facts that leave you shaking your head, they are a reminder that federal and state agencies remain committed to fair housing enforcement.
This is a case where the landlord told HUD testers posing as Spanish-speaking prospective tenants that they “needed to speak English in order to be added to properties’ waiting lists.” HUD settled the case. Read HUD’s Press Release here.
HUD has settled a case where a condo board refused to waive its rule limiting the number of occupants in a rental unit to two persons per bedroom. The Claimant was a family of eight – one of which was a young child having bone marrow transplant treatment at nearby Johns Hopkins Hospital – to temporarily rent a three-bedroom condominium. The family needed to live together to facilitate the young child’s medical treatment and care, which included the screening of all family members for a viable bone marrow donor.
This Charge seems basic to those that follow Fair Housing Act cases, but it involves a woman with a seeing-eye dog being denied a rental unit because of a no-pet policy. Read HUD’s Press Release here.
Here is another case involving sexual harassment and discrimination that many people would believe to be common sense. Note in this case that HUD linked state law in the Charge, as well. Read the Press Release here.