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
Tue
31
Jan
John Triplett's picture

7 Issues And Answers About Renting To Felons

7 issues and answers about renting to felons

7 issues and answers about renting to felons that landlords and property managers need to know.

By John Triplett

Rental Housing Journal

Are “no-felony-ever” lease clauses dead? We decided to ask this question of an expert in the field of investigations and tenant screenings to follow up all debate last year over whether landlords are required to rent to someone with a felony record.

David Pickron, owner of RentPerfect, an investigative screening company in Arizona, says the days of saying “no-felony-ever” are over for landlords unless the felony is a sex offense.

“We really tackled this hard in April and May of 2016 when the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) first came out with their guidelines,” PIckron said in an interview. 

Tue
20
Dec
The Editors's picture

HUD Charges Utah Landlord With Discrimination Over Pet Policy

HUD charges discrimination over no pet policy at Salt Lake City apartment complex

An owner and manager of a Salt Lake City apartment complex have been charged with discrimination by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development over failing to rent to a tenant who had an emotional support animal.

The potential tenant had inquired about renting an apartment was told the apartments had a strict “no pets” policy because some tenants are atlergic to dogs and other longtime residents simply do not want animals at the property.

The potential tenant told management “she had paperwork from her doctor prescribing the animal as an emotional support animal, and that the animal was a small dog of about ten pounds.,” according to the complaint.  The tenant had a “disability-related need for an assistance animal and the requested accommodation was necessary to allow her the equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling” at the apartment the complaint states.

Thu
15
Dec
The Editors's picture

Residential Landlord Tenant Update 2016

Residential Landlord Tenant Update 2016

Residential Landlord Tenant Update 2016

By: The Loeffler Law Group PLLC

There have been several important changes in landlord-tenant law in 2016. First, the Seattle City Council enacted an ordinance to require landlords to rent premises on a first-in-time basis. Second, HUD officially took the position that it is improperly discriminatory to adopt a policy rejecting all tenants with a criminal history. Third, Seattle enacted legislation prohibiting discrimination based on source of income. The Washington legislature extended the time period for providing an accounting of security deposits to 21 days and created a mechanism for sealing.

The First-in-Time Ordinance

Wed
16
Nov
John Triplett's picture

Former Oregon Property Management Owner Sentenced To 3 Years

Property management owner sentenced to federal prison

U.S. District Judge Marco A. Hernandez sentenced Cody C. Halsey, 37, a former Oregon property management owner, to 33 months in federal prison followed by three years’ supervised release after he pled guilty in July 2016 to defrauding nearly 250 clients of his former property management companies, according to a release.

Halsey is the former owner of Cascade Community Management and Noah and Associates, both of which were located in Clackamas, Oregon.  Hernandez also ordered Halsey to pay restitution of $1,545,487 to his client victims, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Oregon.

Tue
15
Nov
The Editors's picture

Investigation says hundreds wrongfully evicted in San Francisco

Evictions in San Francisco may have been wrong says investigative report

A six-month investigation of move-in evictions by a San Francisco television station says hundreds of tenants may have been wrongfully evicted over the past four years in cases involving owners or their relatives moving into the rent-controlled units.

The report by the NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit says that while 8,000 people have been evicted in San Francisco over the past four years, one in four evictions involved owner or relative move-in evictions where a landlord has notified tenants that he or a relative will be moving into the unit.

Fri
04
Nov
The Editors's picture

Apartment management settles discrimination complaint for $70,000

A Service Animal And Children Were Involved In The Discrimination Complaint

A housing discrimination complaint against an apartment management company for failing to rent to a person with a service animal and failing to rent to children has resulted in a $70,000 settlement.

The complaint resolved against the property management company involved explicit discriminated against families with children and people with disabilities, including one with a service dog, according to the Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center in Denver (CREEC) and the Denver Metro Fair Housing Center.

Tue
25
Oct
The Editors's picture

Not Renting To Felons Could Be Discrimination, Says Justice Department

Not renting to felons could be discrimination says U.S. Department of Justice

The U.S. Department of Justice last week weighed in on the issue of landlords categorically not renting to felons saying it can be considered discrimination and a violation of Fair Housing Act.

The Justice Department said the use of criminal background checks by rental housing providers “could product unlawful discriminatory effects in violation of the Federal Housing Act,” according to a release from the Justice Department.

This action follows a story here last week that the State of Washington’s attorney general’s office filing another consent decree against a landlord for illegally discriminating against potential tenants who are felons and saying not renting to felons is racist.

Mon
17
Oct
The Editors's picture

Not Renting To Felons Is Racist, Says Washington AG

Felons and rentals in Washington State

The State of Washington’s attorney general’s office has filed another consent decree against a landlord for illegally discriminating against potential tenants who are felons, according to news reports.

A recent court filing indicates that the Washington State Attorney General’s Office believes that denying a prospective tenant with a felony conviction is racially discriminatory, according to KIRO TV in Seattle.

A member of the Attorney General’s Civil Rights Unit served a Consent Decree on Dobler Management Company, a property management firm in Tacoma, after conducting a simulated test on whether the landlord was illegally discriminating against potential tenants, according to the report.

Fri
16
Sep
The Editors's picture

Tax Penalties Will Be Up But Tax Bills Down in 2017

Business tax forecast for 2017

A new report for taxpayers shows that with the upward penalty adjustments, the cost of noncompliance for taxpayers again increases in 2017, but individuals and businesses also can look forward to potentially lower tax liability because of higher deductions and credits, according to the report from Bloomberg BNA. 

"The trend toward tougher penalties continues as Congress passed legislation that may revoke the passports of taxpayers with seriously delinquent tax debt," George Farrah, Bloomberg BNA Tax & Accounting Editorial Director, said in a release.  "For business taxpayers, Congress has provided some degree of certainty by returning to predictable annual increases for the business property expensing limits."

Fri
09
Sep
The Editors's picture

Apartments Settle With Justice Department Over Lawsuit Alleging Discrimination Against Children

The owners and operators of seven apartment complexes in Michigan will pay $25,000 in a discrimination settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice over allegations the apartments violated the Fair Housing Act by prohibiting families with children from renting one-bedroom units, according to a release

“The law prohibits landlords from refusing to rent to people with children,” U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade of the Eastern District of Michigan, said in the release

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