Boards Have a New Obligation to Stop Discrimination

You are here

What’s the Fair Housing Act?

The Fair Housing Act protects people from discrimination. HOAs are “housing providers” under the Act - they may not discriminate against certain classes of people. Associations who do discriminate risk lawsuits and large fines.

Few associations discriminate on purpose, but some HOAs break the law by accident. The most common Fair Housing violations involve:

  • Making rules that target children
  • Refusing to bend parking rules for the physically disabled
  • Harassing the mentally ill

For more on the Fair Housing Act and HOAs, look here.

What are the New Rules?

In 2016 the government changed some of the rules for housing providers. The new rules say:

a person is directly liable for "failing to fulfill a duty to take prompt action to correct and end a discriminatory housing practice by a third-party, where the person knew or should have known of the discriminatory conduct."

Under these rules, associations must step in when a “third party” discriminates against one of its members. Examples might include:

  • Disputes between homeowners. If one member discriminates against another member, the association must act.
  • Disputes between vendors and homeowners. If an employee or contractor discriminates against a homeowner, the association must act.

In the past, the Act said only that boards must not discriminate. Now, the Act requires that boards prevent others from discriminating.

What Should Boards Do?

The new rule has confused a number of associations and management companies. In some places, managers have told boards to intervene in any dispute that involves a protected class (a very broad group). We feel that this advice is too extreme.

Instead, many association attorneys believe that a board must intervene only when there is evidence of discrimination. Of course, boards must still respond to nuisance complaints. But the Act applies only when there is discrimination.

With this change, boards should be cautious when they learn about problems between owners. If the problem involves discrimination against a protected person, the Act demands that boards step in.

Blog Category: 


I am a board member.  I believe our current management company and a vendor has a very unhealthy business relationship. Recently we hired the vendor to renovate a pool building about 300' sqft consists of two restrooms. The project should have taken only a week at this point it been four months and still going. There were full weeks the vendor wasn't on the work site. Our homeowners didn't have access to the pool and spa for three months.  Some homeowners were really upset and called for the vendor to no longer work on our property.  That didn't sit well with our management company.  Our management company had the vendor address a letter to the Board and homeowners pointing me and another formal board member as the problem for the delay. 
Acting in a President capacity I inquired with some of the vendor's workers to their employment. Our vendor is licensed as a sole proprietor with no employees and workman comp insurance.  It was explained to our management company if the vendor uses subs they must be verified and listed on the contract.  This wasn't done.  Doing past HOA executive meetings our management company defended the vendor for not having workman comp insurance clearly when the contract called for it.
At this point, the vendor's letter was distributed during our monthly HOA meeting without the Board's approval and no rebuttal on my behalf. It pointed out harassment on my behalf as the reason for the long delay. Doing the four months I visited the work site three times no more than two minutes. During the same meeting, our management company presented new bids on behalf of the vendors for work totaling over $175,000.00. for a building 200 times larger than the pool building.
What can be done? Was my due process denied?  Should any management company be communicating with homeowners other than standard communication without the Board's approval? Should the vendor's alleged harassment be investigated by the Board before notifying homeowners?


This sounds like an ugly situation. While I can't comment on the specifics of the project, I can say that the board (collectively) employs the management company. It is very unusual for a management company to communicate with homeowners about a controversial matter without the approval of the board. However, if the remaining board majority do support this communication, I'm not sure there's much you can do about it.

If a majority of the board agrees, the board should provide clear guidelines to management about member communications. And if the board believes that there is illegal activity, it should hire an attorney very soon.

Thanks for your view. Are you saying the Board can collectively agree to distribute personal complaints to other homeowners without the homeowner consent or knowledge?  Also the allege harassment complaint must there be an investigation?  

There is rise in the number of cases of discrimination that arise and need for focus. 
school board obligations

Thanks for the awesome content.

free gift cards generator and free gift code generator



Thanks a lot for the post. It has helped me get some nice ideas. I hope I will see some really good result soon impossible game


This is truly a great read for me. shooting games for kids

Here is a thing that might be interesting for you. People who graduated from university or even students can help other students with their essays, research and course papers, with homework. You can read here about one of such services to find out how it all works. Pretty interesting.

A very interesting topic that I have reviewed, I think this is one of the most important information for me. And I'm glad to read your article. Thanks for sharing!  vex 3

Mate, you have a endowment. A talent to write highly wonderful articles and on a very ordered basis. I must say that this is a rare talent and you are really making full use of that talent. Good to see that. Lip kiss The Tech

Useful info

You can file an objection on anyone or any entity directed to the Fair Housing Act. In this instance, you should bypass the supervisor and contact your local Fair Housing Office directly or you may also contact the National office at HUD.GOV. I recommend using your local HUD office and simply describe the condition and they will advise you what action to take or what action they will take. pay to do an assignment

For living in a society, the basic needs should be full filled. For the security of society rules you have mentioned which are equal & full of justice. I have a brand of mens Coats and Jackets Collection  for casual wearing & life needs i also work effectively 

While some say that this is not a commendable Act, I still believe in the beauty of its purpose - that is to protect those who needed protection. This will surely make everyone double check their actions.
Leah | kitchen remodelers charleston

Still really excited for these changes - metal roofing and metal roofing

A quite informative blog you have shared thanks for sharing this post and check this one also here you can get the latest discount codes and here Swing Design Coupons & Promo Codes Autodesk Coupons, avg Coupons and plenty of a lot of stores area unit providing the simplest deals.