Boards and community managers should be questioning if what they are doing could be considered harassment according to the new rules added to the Fair Housing Act.  HUD understands that community associations are different from that of an apartment complex, HUD will now be considering if an owner vs. owner dispute or Board vs. owner dispute should be considered harassment.

What does the fair housing act consider the basis for discrimination?  According to the Fair Housing Act, discrimination is based on color, race, sex, national origin, religion, familial status, and disability.

“The new rules define quid pro quo harassment and hostile environment harassment as prohibited discriminatory housing practices.  Although both types of harassment might arise in a community association, conduct amounting to hostile environment harassment seems more likely.  Hostile environment harassment is defined as “…unwelcome conduct that is sufficiently severe or pervasive as to interfere with: the availability, sale, rental, or use or enjoyment of a dwelling; the terms, conditions, or privileges of the sale or rental, or the provision or enjoyment of services or facilities in connection therewith; …” (Source

Because of the costs associated with violation the fair housing rules, it is ACCU’s recommendation that the Board reaches out to their attorney if they feel there may be a violation occurring.