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Fair Housing

At Alta Vista Properties, our top priority is protecting you and your investment. Our application process includes specific credit and reference requirements while remaining compliant with all state and federal Fair Housing Laws, Regulations, Rules and Guidelines.

Your property manager would be happy to answer any questions you might have regarding the application process. We have also outlined specific articles from the legal firm Kimball, Tirey referencing Fair Housing practices below.

 
Kimball, Tirey & St. John LLP

“2014 Fair Housing Laws, Regulations, Rules & Guidelines”

Lynn N. Dover, Esq. and Susan J. Lein, Esq.

March, 2014

Fair Housing complaints and ADA lawsuits are on the rise in California. Defending a complaint or lawsuit can be time consuming and expensive – even if you win. It is important to keep abreast of new laws and developments in this complex area of law. The following is a summary of new laws, regulations and guidelines that affect residential rental property.

(Article addresses HUD/DOJ regulations re: discrimination, assistive animals)

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Kimball, Tirey & St. John LLP

Multiple Rental Applications- To “Batch” or Not: That is the Question

Shawn Bankson, Esq.

September, 2014

“Batching” refers to the process of taking in multiple applications for an available unit, screening each application against the landlord’s rental criteria, and then comparing the applications against each other in order to select the “most qualified” applicant for tenancy.
We recommend that a landlord adopt a policy of “first come, first qualified, first served” when processing applications. The first completed application that meets the landlord’s rental criteria should then be offered the unit. This ensures that the landlord will process and accept applications in the most neutral, objective way possible: chronological order.

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Kimball, Tirey & St. John LLP

“Reasonable Accommodation or Undue Burden?”

J. Kathleen Belville, Esq.

Revised March, 2015

Disability is the most common basis for the filing of housing discrimination complaints in California and nationally. Under federal and state fair housing laws, residents of rental housing who have disabilities are entitled to two rights that are not available to residents without disabilities. Residents with disabilities may make “reasonable modifications,” which are physical changes to the premises such as installing grab bars. They are also entitled to be granted exceptions to the normal rules, policies practices or services. Such exceptions are called accommodations and may include things such as granting a resident with a disability the opportunity to have a companion animal despite a “no pet” policy. Many disability-related cases involve an alleged failure of a landlord to grant a request for a reasonable accommodation.

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Kimball, Tirey & St. John LLP

“Most Common Risks of Fair Housing Violations”

By Ted Kimball

Revised December, 2008

Number One: Setting an occupancy standard that is too low.

One of the lesser-known types of discrimination is not based upon discriminatory intent, it is based on disparate impact. This theory of discrimination claims that a policy has discriminatory impact on a protected class of persons. For instance, if you were to have a policy that every tenant be at least five feet tall, a claim could be successfully filed alleging that the policy prevents families with children from renting your unit. This policy has a discriminatory effect on children and would be found to be a violation of fair housing laws.
(Article addresses occupancy standards, disabilities, fair housing procedures)

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Kimball, Tirey & St. John LLP

What is a “Protected Class”?

D. J. Ryan, Fair Housing Specialist and Director of Client Education

Revised December, 2008

Historically and statistically, there have been identifiable groups within our society that have received unfavorable treatment with regard to housing. They have been rejected or prevented from renting or buying real property, given different terms, paid higher rents or security deposits, or experienced a lower level of service during tenancy than other groups of people.

Do “protected classes” get special rights? No, the intention of federal and state fair housing laws is to require that ALL persons be given the same treatment, the same services, and offered an equal opportunity to live in a home of their choice—in other words, the same rights as everyone else. The only exceptions to this are disabled persons who have been given several special rights in order to establish equal opportunity. (Note: If, for some reason, you must deviate from your normal procedures, be sure to document the situation; who, when, what, and why.)

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