More than two years after new fair housing rules regarding discriminatory actions of residents which create a hostile housing environment for other residents were adopted by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in October 2016, it remains uncertain what community association boards and managers must do to avoid liability for not ending the discriminatory conduct of owners and other residents of condominiums, homeowner associations, and housing cooperatives.
The HUD rules establish nationwide standards which HUD will apply in enforcing the federal Fair Housing Act with respect to alleged harassment based on race, religion, national origin, sex, familial status or disability. In addition to liability for a person’s own conduct and the conduct of that person’s agents and employees, the 2016 fair housing rules also make a community association liable for failing to take prompt action to end a discriminatory housing practice by residents where the person knew, or should have known, of the discriminatory conduct and had the power to correct it. The HUD rule does not require that the housing provider have a discriminatory intent in not intervening to stop the resident’s discriminatory conduct. Continue reading