Articles — disparate impact

A Review of Important Fair Housing Cases

Posted by Stephen Marshall on

A Review of Important Fair Housing Cases

In last week’s post, we reviewed some statistics on housing discrimination complaints filed in 2017. One positive note from that review was that landlords are rarely found to have committed acts of housing discrimination. This week, I want to look at some cases across the country that shed light on some important topics in Fair Housing. One of several lessons from this week’s review: while housing discrimination might be rare, it can be very costly for landlords. Here are four cases that illustrate that point and give us lessons to consider: Case #1 - Fair Housing Center of West Michigan...

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Life Just Got Harder for Landlords: A Review of HUD's Guidance on Criminal Records

Posted by Stephen Marshall on

Life Just Got Harder for Landlords: A Review of HUD's Guidance on Criminal Records

Katie is the property manager for a new 300-unit luxury apartment complex. During the construction phase, Katie worked with the property owners to develop a Resident Selection Policy (RSP) that would ensure that only top-notch tenants would be approved as residents. As a result, the RSP prohibited any residents who had been arrested for or charged with committing a crime from being approved. Johnny Football's Application As luck would have it, Katie was floored to receive an application one day from a Jonathan Paul Manziel. Katie had family in Texas and is a huge football fan, so this application caught...

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Unintentional Discrimination - A Look at Disparate Impact Liability

Posted by Stephen Marshall on

Unintentional Discrimination - A Look at Disparate Impact Liability

Merle is property manager at Opry Village, a 250-unit property in Muskogee. He has been managing property for many years and recently guided the property through a massive renovation. Through the years, he has worked with the property owners to develop a resident selection policy that brings in the best tenants to the property, as well as rules and regulations that keep the property safe, orderly, and clean for all the residents. When the renovations were completed, Merle enacted a no-pet policy in order to prevent damage to the newly renovated units. One afternoon Merle is a bit surprised to...

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