As a board member, manager, or owner of a condo or homeowner association in Florida, you have a legal duty to comply with federal and state laws on fair housing and discrimination. These laws safeguard the rights of existing and prospective residents to reside in your community without facing discrimination based on protected classes, such as race, gender, or age. If you fail to adhere to these laws, you expose yourself to the risk of facing lawsuits, legal penalties, and damage to your overall reputation. Therefore, it is prudent to take the necessary measures to ensure compliance with fair housing and discrimination laws to avoid these scenarios. Read on and reach out to the dedicated Florida condo & homeowner association attorneys here at Ansbacher Law to learn more.
Measures to Take to Ensure Compliance With Fair Housing & Discrimination Laws
Some of the most important steps you can take to ensure compliance with fair housing & discrimination laws are as follows:
- Educate yourself and your staff. They prohibit discrimination in the sale, rental, financing, or advertising of housing based on protected classes and require reasonable accommodations and modifications for persons with disabilities, and prohibit harassment and retaliation against anyone who exercises their fair housing rights.
- Review and update your governing documents and policies. Your condo or homeowner association bylaws, regulations, covenants, and policies should be congruent with the fair housing and discrimination laws and should not contain any provisions that discriminate against any protected class, such as restricting occupancy based on age, marital status, or sexual orientation. They should also allow for reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities or special needs, such as permitting service animals or accessibility ramps.
- Train and monitor your board members and staff. Your board members and staff should be cognizant of the fair housing and discrimination laws and how they pertain to your condo or HOA operations. They should undergo regular training on how to avoid discriminatory practices, handle fair housing complaints, and be regularly supervised and evaluated on their performance and conduct regarding fair housing issues. You should have a clear, consistent policy for reporting and resolving allegations of discrimination.
- Communicate and cooperate with your residents. Residents of your condo complex or HOA have the right to know their fair housing rights. You should provide them with clear and accurate information about your condo or HOA rules, fees, services, and procedures and always respond swiftly and courteously to their inquiries, requests, or complaints, regarding fair housing matters. You should try to resolve any disputes or conflicts amicably and professionally. Never resort to intimidation or retaliation.
- Seek legal advice from a proficient condo/HOA lawyer. Fair housing and discrimination laws are constantly evolving, and they may also vary depending on where you’re located, the type of property, and the size of the community. An attorney can advise you on your rights under the law, how to comply with the law, represent you in any dispute involving fair housing issues, and help you prevent or minimize any liability or damage.
If you have any further questions or need a knowledgeable Florida condo/HOA attorney you can depend on, simply contact Ansbacher Law today. We are here to provide you with the candid legal advice you deserve and need to ensure your condo or homeowner association operates at the highest level.