Violent Residents – Guilty by Association?

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Many of our tenants (and owners, too!) have been going through some tough economic conditions in the last few years. It’s no surprise that incidences of domestic violence tend to increase when a family is suffering economic hardship. Studies show that domestic violence is three times more likely to occur when couples are experiencing high levels of economic strain.   Continue reading “Violent Residents – Guilty by Association?”

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Rottweilers, Shepherds, and Pitbulls, Oh My!

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Rottweilers, Shepherds, and Pitbulls, Oh My!

The subject of today’s post was inspired by a recent class on accommodating the needs of residents with disabilities. As professional property managers, we know the Federal Fair Housing Act (FFHA) requires us to make reasonable accommodations for renters with physical or mental disabilities. Often times, these requests revolve around assistance animals (note: the term “assistance animal” is synonymous with “companion animal,” “service animal,” “therapy animal,” etc.)  It is widely known within the property management industry that accommodating such requests is generally considered “reasonable,” under FFHA.

 

 

What happens when the animal is a “dangerous breed” of dog?

 

Stories relating to incidents of deadly animal attacks on humans make national news on a fairly regular basis. As many of us know, some insurance companies keep lists of dog breeds they consider “dangerous,” Continue reading “Rottweilers, Shepherds, and Pitbulls, Oh My!”

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Stop me if you’ve heard this one…

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In the area of screening tenants for residential rental properties, property managers often like to think of themselves as great judges of character. After all, as a property manager, you deal with prospective tenants from all walks of life, don’t you? A few years in the business is likely to give us the feeling that we instinctively know who’s going to be a good tenant, and who isn’t.

 

Once upon a time…

Continue reading “Stop me if you’ve heard this one…”

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Security Deposits and Fair Housing Laws

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A few days ago, I participated in a discussion around security deposits. The issue at hand was whether a landlord (property manager) could increase a security deposit for a single tenant, and not run afoul of fair housing laws. I maintain that YES, in Nevada, you can charge different deposit amounts for different tenants.

Continue reading “Security Deposits and Fair Housing Laws”

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Questions from Property Managers – Renting to Sex Offenders

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This question comes up frequently, and the response might surprise you.

 

Peter writes,

“Can a landlord refuse to rent to a convicted sex offender, and can a homeowners association have rules and regulations prohibiting owner/landlords from renting to sex offenders?”

Continue reading “Questions from Property Managers – Renting to Sex Offenders”

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Questions from Property Managers – Part 2

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Thoughts on Tenant Selection

Last week, my blog addressed a few of the more common questions raised by Nevada Property Managers. This week, I’ll address a couple of questions received from a California landlord, as they pertain to managing residential rental property throughout the USA.

 

Screening Tenants

I am a landlord renting out a single detached home in California. I have received 5 applications to rent in the last couple of weeks, and I have two questions about the rental process.  Continue reading “Questions from Property Managers – Part 2”

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Accommodations and Modifications for Residents with Disabilities

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Silver State Fair Housing 2011 Winning Poster

 

Whether you are a property manager, owner-landlord, board member, or HOA manager, sooner or later you’ll be faced with a request from a resident for an accommodation under Fair Housing Law.

 

How about a quick test, just to see how ready you are for these requests…  Continue reading “Accommodations and Modifications for Residents with Disabilities”

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Revised Rules for “Service Animals” under ADA

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Finally! Clarification from the Department of Justice on the new rules for implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as it pertains to “Service Animals.” The publication can be found here.

 

It’s important to note that ADA and Fair Housing laws are NOT the same. Fair Housing Law provides for a much broader definition of “Service Animal.” More on that here.

 

The new ADA rules state, in part:

 

Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities.

 

The publication goes on to say:

 

This definition does not affect or limit the broader definition of “assistance animal” under the Fair Housing Act or the broader definition of “service animal” under the Air Carrier Access Act.

 

If you manage office buildings, retail properties, or industrial properties, this new publication should prove extremely useful in helping your office draft policy pertaining to Service Animals for your clients and customers.

 

Questions or Comments? Please participate in the discussion by leaving your remarks on this post.

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Fair Housing Progress in Nevada

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Governor Sandoval has signed into law SB368 which affords fair housing protections to the LGBT community in Nevada. The bill, co-sponsored by Senators Sheila Leslie and David Parks, adds to Nevada’s existing protected classes under fair housing law (race, color, religion, gender, national origin, family status, ancestry, disability) two more classes of individuals: gender identity/expression and sexual orientation.  Despite some pretty heated testimony in opposition to the bill, it made its way through both the Senate and Assembly without amendment.

 

Those opposed to the bill included “Nevada Concerned Citizens,” a group that testified, in part:  Continue reading “Fair Housing Progress in Nevada”

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Assistance Animals – Clearing the Confusion

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A few months back, I posted a blog addressing both ADA and Fair Housing laws, and the differences between the two in terms of how each deals with the subject of “assistance animals.”

It seems the recent amendments to ADA that limit such animals to trained dogs, continues to present a good deal of confusion to the housing provider community. I’ve received numerous emails from property managers, homeowner association managers, landlords and tenants, all under the assumption that the new ADA rules somehow apply to their private housing. Nothing could be further from the truth.

 

In this post, I hope to put the confusion to rest.

 

ADA applies to public property only

 

Unless your rental property is open to the public (i.e., you rent your pool or clubhouse to persons who don’t live in your community, or your property is an office building, store, etc.), ADA does not apply to your propertyContinue reading “Assistance Animals – Clearing the Confusion”

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