Fair Housing No No – Which Church Do You Attend?

Fair Housing fundamentals are not something to ignore. Yes this is a real application that a resident brought in to one of my Twitter pals @MojoMissy. Thanks Miss Bentley so much. This really highlights that there is still a real need for property management companies and apartment communities to receive Fair Housing training.


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So let’s review the seven protected classes

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So what happens when you are accused and convicted of breaking Fair Housing laws? You face litigation, fines and then you are forced into taking training sessions. Why not do everything you can to avoid the first two items by focusing on the third. And it is not a simple matter of memorizing the protected classes, it’s a matter of applying them with what happens onsite. Many times just out of pure innocence you can ask a wrong question such as: “How many kids do you have?” and be accused of violating the Fair Housing act. You may think that this is just friendly conversation but after a solid Fair Housing class you will learn that there are different ways to be a friendly communicator without getting yourself into trouble.

The big lesson to take away from this is the need to be compliant in our industry. Don’t water it down. Don’t dismiss it. Don’t guess.  And certainly do not be negligent. If any of your employees are resistant to taking Fair Housing training just simply ask them: “Who pays your liability insurance?” (I am going to be addressing this challenge in a future post) The fact is your property management company needs to be protected!

So please share with me your take on Fair Housing training. How important is it? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Written by Jonathan Saar



pf button Fair Housing No No – Which Church Do You Attend?
  • Mechelle

    The sad fact is that this was probably an innocent question on the guest card. However, as we have seen so many times in the past these sorts of innocent questions can be misused and abused and can get us all in a lot of trouble with the Fair Housing folks. Better to be safe than sorry.

  • http://www.thetrainingfactor.com/ Jonathan Saar

    I agree Mechelle 100%.  That is why regular training and coaching are critical elements to making sure your team is on their toes.  Thanks for the feedback!

  • http://twitter.com/MojoMissy Missy Bentley

    What the pic doesn’t show is that on the side of the application, after the “Which church do you attend?” it goes on to ask “How often?” When my team asks why they have to constantly take Fair Housing training, I will show them this application.

  • http://www.thetrainingfactor.com/ Jonathan Saar

    Wow!! Thanks for adding that tidbit.  I am sure it serves as a valuable lesson to your team.  Thanks for sharing and contributing to this post! 

  • Kwashbourne

    Training also needs to be complimented w ongoing discussion of different scenarios and real life HUD mystery entrapment that has happened. Most associates don’t realize that changes to policies and procedures (like accepting rent after a close out bc the resident has asked for this due to when she receives her disability check) is what u must do to protect your company…that this is reasonable bc it could be explained to an owner and remedied in your pm software monthly.

    Yet…how many of us would tell her no? Disability fair housing issues are the most easily overlooked and misunderstood. They also happen a lot. Continuous discussion and going deepervis the answer. You must think with fair housing. Truly think and make the concerted effort to both act in the same manner and yet be prepared to give more than u may feel is necessary…bc it is necessary…and legally evening the playing field to make the housing accessible.

  • http://www.thetrainingfactor.com/ Jonathan Saar

    Great comment and insights.  I really appreciate adding to the conversation and I like how you highlight the seriousness behind the Fair Housing law.  Thanks for weighing in!