When HOA rejects an application due to criminal convictions
Understanding language of Fair Housing Act is uneasy and even stressful because errors may lead to violations, and violations are extremely costly. Especially terrifying is the language about housing discrimination, and there are a lot of misunderstandings around disparate impact. For example, a Landlord rejects an applicant due to the criminal convictions; therefore, Landlord may unintentionally discriminate certain minority applicants disproportionately. Also, The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has put landlords and other housing providers on notice that a policy of denying housing to anyone with a prior arrest or any kind of criminal conviction would violate the Fair Housing Act. This video will provide more insights.
By now we, the Landlords, have learnt how to address this issue, but whether Homeowner Associations (HOAs) follow the guidence is questionabale.
So, our story is sad. We approved the applicant, who had several traffic tickets and one criminal conviction (it was really insignificant to us), and sent them the applicant to HOA for their approval. The HOA application came out denied. We went back to the HOA and requested an explanation. All we received back was a list with “Terms for Denial”. Among them HOA listed:
a) Sex offense/Pornography
d) Domestic violence
e) Child Abuse
f) Criminal mischief
i) Disorderly Conduct
l) Drug Possession/ Trafficking/ Distribution
o) Indecent exposure
p) Rape/ Statutory Rape
Indeed, HOAs need to start being more understanding as we, the Landlords, are also the housing providers. They need to work with us, our resident, and The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development! Otherwise, HOAs place us in risk being fined and sued.