Legal Department

The RHJ Legal Department is dedicated to educating and informing property managers, multifamily executives, on-site managers, landlords, real estate investors, apartment maintenance staff and other industry professionals about Fair Housing, Section 8, landlords tenant laws and other real estate laws on a local and national level.

fair housing section 8 landlord tenant law
Mon
30
Jul
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Portland Requires Landlords List Rental Properties In Annual Business Tax Filings

Portland Requires Landlords List Rental Properties In Annual Business Tax Filings

Portland landlords will be required to register the addresses of all rental properties for a citywide database beginning with the 2018 tax year, the City Council voted.

“A rental registration system will benefit current and potential tenants by giving the city access to real-time data, which will help direct policies to better address Portland’s housing crisis,” said Mayor Ted Wheeler in a press release. The program, called the Residential Rental Registration Program, also allows for routine health and safety inspections of leased properties.

“Quality data in our rental system is something that tenants and landlords have been asking for,” Wheeler told Oregon Public Broadcasting.

Tue
24
Jul
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Sexual Harassment In Housing Target Of New HUD And Justice Department Campaign

Sexual Harassment In Housing Target Of New HUD And Justice Department Campaign

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) have released a new video to raise awareness of sexual harassment in housing and to reach persons who are victimized by it, according to a release.

 To enhance the effectiveness of the campaign, HUD enlisted the assistance of victims to share their experiences and help convey the message that sexual harassment in housing is against the law. Watch the public service announcement (PSA).

The video features three victims of sexual harassment in housing who challenged their mistreatment in lawsuits brought by HUD under the Fair Housing Act. These women share their stories of abuse and the impact the experience they had on their lives.

Mon
16
Jul
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Florida Court Allows Apartment Company To Pursue Airbnb Claims

Florida Court Allows Apartment Company To Pursue Airbnb Claims

A Florida court has cleared the way for subsidiaries of Apartment Investment And Management Company (Aimco) to pursue claims against the short-term rental giant Airbnb which has intentionally brokered unauthorized short-term rentals at Aimco communities, according to a release.

"The court decisions this week allow us to continue with our case and affirm that Airbnb can be held accountable for the illegal short-term rental activities it knowingly promotes at our communities," Aimco Spokesperson Cindy Lempke, said in the release.

 "Our residents deserve to know their neighbors and to live in a safe, peaceful environment without the disruption of transient vacationers whom Airbnb continues to send to our communities." 

The Miami-Dade 11th Circuit Court this week denied Airbnb's multiple motions to dismiss the lawsuit launched by three Aimco subsidiaries.

Tue
10
Jul
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Broad Coalition Supports Aimco Lawsuit Against Airbnb

Broad Coalition Supports Aimco Lawsuit Against Airbnb

Multifamily industry organizations, municipal and county government, neighborhoods, hotels and lodging, and homeowners' associations have filed briefs in support of Apartment Investment and Management Company’s (Aimco) lawsuit in California to hold Airbnb legally accountable for brokering and promoting illegal short-term rentals, according to a release.

In June Aimco filed its own Ninth Circuit brief in its appeal of a December 2017 U.S. District Court ruling that the federal Communications Decency Act (CDA) grants Airbnb "immunity" from liability for its brokering of illegal short-term rentals at Aimco's apartment communities.

Wed
27
Jun
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HUD Warns California Landlords For Failing To Comply With Lead Regulations

HUD Warns California Landlords For Failing To Comply With Lead Regulations

The U. S. Department of Housing and Urban development has issued notices of violations against the owners of eight HUD-assisted properties throughout California for violations of HUD’s lead safety rules and regulations, according to a release.

"Landlords have a responsibility to ensure the homes they rent to their tenants are safe and healthy places to live," HUD Secretary Ben Carson said in the release.

 "These rules are designed to protect families and their young children from the preventable dangers associated with lead poisoning."

Tue
29
May
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Landlords To Pay $6,000 To Settle Assistance Animal HUD Complaint

Landlords To Pay $6,000 To Settle Assistance Animal HUD Complaint

A landlord who told a woman with an assistance animal she could not rent an apartment because there was a no-pet policy due to new hardwood floors, has settled a discrimination complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

HUD said in a release the conciliation agreement was between Delta House Investments, LLC in Reno, Nevada, and Premier Realty, Inc., of Carson City, Nevada, and a prospective tenant to resolve allegations that they denied the applicant's request to have an assistance animal.

Under the terms of the agreement, respondents will pay the woman $6,000 and obtain fair housing training and adopt reasonable accommodation policies that assess requests on a timely basis and maintain records related to such requests.

Tue
29
May
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Rent Bidding Company Sues Seattle Over Ordinance Banning Bidding

Rent Bidding Company Sues Seattle Over Ordinance Banning Bidding

A startup company that connects landlords and renters through a rent bidding system on its website has sued the City of Seattle in federal court over a city moratorium that bans rent bidding.

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington by Rentberry, a San Francisco startup. The suit was filed suit through the Pacific Legal Foundation arguing the city moratorium prohibits free speech rights of Rentberry, as well as the landlords and renters who would like to use such sites to communicate.

“The explicit purpose of the moratorium is to suspend all rent-bidding services while the city investigates if they comply with the first-in-time rule and other city regulations,” according to a release from the Pacific Legal Foundation.

Tue
22
May
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Man Awarded $20 Million After Fall Through Portland Apartment Walkway

Man Awarded $20 Million After Fall Through Portland Apartment Walkway

A jury has found a Portland apartment complex failed to make proper repairs to a walkway and awarded $20 million to a man who fell through the walkway, according to reports.

The man, Robert Trebelhorn, plunged waist-deep into a rotting, second-story walkway in February 2016, according to the lawsuit. He tore the meniscus in his knee, causing ongoing pain and therapy even after he underwent surgery.

Trebelhorn filed suit against Wimbledon Square Apartments and its parent company Prime Group, a Los Angeles-based real estate firm, after construction crews discovered serious dry rot and cracking concrete in the walkway.

His attorneys Jason and Greg Kafoury said Prime Group refused to make repairs for at least a decade.

Tue
15
May
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Portland City Commissioner Seeks To Regulate Tenant Screening

Portland City Commissioner Seeks To Regulate Tenant Screening

Portland City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly is seeking to regulate tenant screening by following a similar path to Seattle’s first-in-time ordinance and require Portland landlords to take a first-come, first-served approach to tenants, according to reports.

Eudaly’s proposal is similar to one passed by the Seattle City Council, called first-in-time. That ordinance was struck down in April by King County Superior Court Judge, Suzanne Parisien, who said in her ruling that “choosing a tenant is a fundamental attribute of property ownership.”

Willamette Week first reported that  Eudaly is working on a measure to require landlords to rent to tenants on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Mon
14
May
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California Landlords Settle Over ‘No Criminal Record’ And Discrimination

California landlords settle with HUD

California landlords have reached a settlement and agreed to pay $8,000 after a complaint alleging they used a policy of “no criminal or police record of any kind,” and in addition discriminated on the basis of race and national origin.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) charged in the conciliation agreement that the landlords discriminated on the basis of race, national origin and prior criminal history, according to a release. The agreement names the Grand Oaks Apartments and Sierra Vista Apartments in Atwood, California, and MacBeth Apartment Systems in Carlsbad, California.

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