Condo Media - January 2021 - 41

tion purposes, " hostile environment
harassment " under the FHA. A hostile
environment is created when an
individual is subject to treatment that
interferes with or deprives them of the
right to use and enjoy the property as
a result of a protected characteristic.
Allowing such harassment to continue
(e.g. a unit owner being subject to
racial slurs/comments from another
unit owner) creates such a hostile environment and puts the association at
risk for liability for discrimination.
Under these
updated regulations,
Associations can be liable if they associations can be
liable if they know or
have reason to know
know or have reason to know of
of discriminatory
behavior and fail to
discriminatory behavior and
end it. There is no
requirement that the
fail to end it.
unit owner contact
the association or
property manager about the harassget involved if there is any reason to
ment, only that the association has
believe a resident is being harassed on
knowledge from which a reasonable
the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, person would conclude that harassment
was occurring. Additionally, the rules
familial status, or disability. In the last
provide a follow up obligation in that if
three-to-four years, the Department
the association knows or should have
of Housing and Urban Development
known that the corrective action was in( " HUD " ) has issued regulations clarifyeffective, there is a responsibility to take
ing the standards for assessing claims
additional corrective actions within the
involving allegations of harassment
association's power. Therefore, in these
based on a protected class under the
Fair Housing Act " FHA. " Condominium types of matters, the association should
follow up in writing with the unit owner
associations are considered " housing
on the receiving end of the harassment
providers " under the FHA.
after the corrective action is taken to
ensure that it was effective.
HUD REGULATIONS
If the complaining unit owner feels
Communities are made up of a large
threatened, they should be directed
sampling of many races, colors, religions, national origins, sexual orienta- to make a report to the police both
for safety purposes and to create a
tions, genders, familial status, and
disabilities. It goes without saying that record of alleged harassment for the
association to move forward with enboards and managers must treat all
forcement of the nuisance provisions.
members equally and make no terms,
Videos, recordings, police reports, and
conditions, or privileges, services, or
the like should be requested to help
facilities based on a protected characsubstantiate the allegations, but these
teristic. The recent rules specify how
are not required, or necessary, for the
HUD will evaluate complaints of quid
association to have an obligation to
pro quo ( " this for that " ) harassment
take steps to end the harassment.
and, more importantly for associaWhat if, however, one neighbor is
claiming harassment based on a protected characteristic such as race,
color, religion, national origin, sexual
orientation, gender, familial status,
or disability? Most associations do
not want to get involved in these nasty
neighbor spats, especially when there
is no seemingly obvious rule violation
occurring (e.g. loud music, screaming,
banging) outside of mean comments
back and forth. The association,
however, not only should, but must

While sometimes people may make
false allegations of harassment based
on a protected characteristic, the
association must not pre-judge these
claims and must do its due diligence
to investigate any and all allegations.
The steps taken to address alleged
harassment based on discrimination
should be carefully documented.
If an issue with an owner claiming
discrimination is not resolving, it is
best to contact your attorney who can
work with the local Human Right's
Commission for an appropriate resolution. The association should always
be proactive in addressing complaints
in their infancy to best avoid being a
defendant in a formal complaint.
n MARY-JOY A. HOWES, ESQ.
IS A PARTNER WITH LOMBARDI
LAW GROUP.

RESOLVING
COMPLEX PROBLEMS
WITH ELEGANT
SOLUTIONS.

BUILDING ENVELOPE REMEDIATION
STRUCTURAL DESIGN
MEP AND CIVIL INVESTIGATION
FORENSICS
LITIGATION SERVICES
For 28 years CCA has provided trusted advice and
realistic solutions to Property Managers, Attorneys,
and NE Condominium Board Members.

Architecture | Engineering | Construction Consulting

781-280-0660 | WWW.CCACO.COM
Please contact John at jtripp@ccaco.com with questions

January 2021 CONDOMEDIA

41


http://WWW.CCACO.COM

Condo Media - January 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Condo Media - January 2021

Contents
Condo Media - January 2021 - Cover1
Condo Media - January 2021 - Cover2
Condo Media - January 2021 - Contents
Condo Media - January 2021 - 2
Condo Media - January 2021 - 3
Condo Media - January 2021 - 4
Condo Media - January 2021 - 5
Condo Media - January 2021 - 6
Condo Media - January 2021 - 7
Condo Media - January 2021 - 8
Condo Media - January 2021 - 9
Condo Media - January 2021 - 10
Condo Media - January 2021 - 11
Condo Media - January 2021 - 12
Condo Media - January 2021 - 13
Condo Media - January 2021 - 14
Condo Media - January 2021 - 15
Condo Media - January 2021 - 16
Condo Media - January 2021 - 17
Condo Media - January 2021 - 18
Condo Media - January 2021 - 19
Condo Media - January 2021 - 20
Condo Media - January 2021 - 21
Condo Media - January 2021 - 22
Condo Media - January 2021 - 23
Condo Media - January 2021 - 24
Condo Media - January 2021 - 25
Condo Media - January 2021 - 26
Condo Media - January 2021 - 27
Condo Media - January 2021 - 28
Condo Media - January 2021 - 29
Condo Media - January 2021 - 30
Condo Media - January 2021 - 31
Condo Media - January 2021 - 32
Condo Media - January 2021 - 33
Condo Media - January 2021 - 34
Condo Media - January 2021 - 35
Condo Media - January 2021 - 36
Condo Media - January 2021 - 37
Condo Media - January 2021 - 38
Condo Media - January 2021 - 39
Condo Media - January 2021 - 40
Condo Media - January 2021 - 41
Condo Media - January 2021 - 42
Condo Media - January 2021 - 43
Condo Media - January 2021 - 44
Condo Media - January 2021 - 45
Condo Media - January 2021 - 46
Condo Media - January 2021 - 47
Condo Media - January 2021 - 48
Condo Media - January 2021 - Cover3
Condo Media - January 2021 - Cover4
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