News: Fair Housing


Regulations interpreting the reasonable accommodation and disparate impact discrimination provisions of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act take effect at the beginning of the new year.   The “disparate impact” impact regulations specifically address how a plaintiff would make a disparate impact claim based on the discriminatory use of criminal background checks.  The approach of the regulations is similar to the “Office of General Counsel Guidance on Application of Fair Housing Act Standards to the Use of Criminal Records by Providers of Housing and Real Estate-Related Transactions” issued by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2016. 


The California Apartment Association is asking members who own or manage property in San Mateo County to take a survey and offer their thoughts on the local rental housing market and fair housing issues. Taking part in the survey will help San Mateo County complete its “Assessment of Fair Housing Report,” which it must submit to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development later this year.

Tagged: Tri-County

Most rental housing policies that exclude applicants with criminal backgrounds are likely in violation of fair housing laws, according to new guidelines from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Coming on the heels of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding claims under the federal Fair Housing Act based on “disparate impact” or “discriminatory effect,” the new guidelines describe how the use of criminal background checks can result in liability for unlawful discrimination. HUD Secretary Julián Castro has said, “No American should ever be discriminated against because of their race or ethnicity, even if that discrimination results from a… Read More


California property owners would have to allow tenants to smoke marijuana in rental units under possible changes to fair housing laws. They also would face unreasonable occupancy standards — ones similar to the Uniform Housing Code’s maximum occupancy. And any request for an assistive animal or companion animal would be presumed reasonable. These are among several ideas being floated by the California Fair Housing Council and of great concern to the California Apartment Association. The council has issued an initial working draft of its proposed regulations based on its interpretation of the state’s Fair Employment and Housing Act. On Jan.… Read More


A Fremont apartment community has recently become the target of a Fair Housing discrimination suit. The Department of Justice alleges that the owner/managers of a 37-unit apartment building discriminated against children with restrictive rules regarding use of grassy areas on the property.

Tagged: Rental Housing Assn. of Southern Alameda

It’s no surprise that some property owners don’t allow pets in their apartments. Who wants the noise, the carpet stains and the doggie doo-doo on prospective tenants’ shoes? Legally, however, one person’s pet may be another person’s companion.  In this type of situation, fair housing laws require owners to make exceptions. Don’t let ignorance bite you at the bank. Take part in the California Apartment Association Oct. 10 webinar “When Is a Pet Not a Pet: Complying with the ADA and Fair Housing Laws.” This class will help CAA members understand state and federal laws requiring property owners to make… Read More