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Information for Housing Providers
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Housing Provider Information
At the Fair Housing Council (FHCO), we want to be sure you're aware of your rights and responsibilities under federal, state, and local fair housing laws.
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Fair Housing Resources for Housing Providers:
Following are a few quick resource links for you. For yet more information, scroll down through this page designed just for housing providers like you.
Fair Housing Materials:
Fair Housing Posters
HUD Fair Housing Logos
Additional Fair Housing Resources for Housing Providers:
The History of Civil Rights in Housing
What Do I Do If Someone Has Filed a Fair Housing Complaint Against Me?
Inclusive Rental Practices and Affirmative Marketing (FHCO Article)
Advertising and "THE LIST"
‘Close Enough’ may Result in a Fair Housing Lawsuit
Removal of Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing
Occupancy Standards and Fair Housing Law
Other Housing Resources:
FHCO's Page for Housing Consumers
FHCO's Preparing to Rent page
FHCO's Home Buying page
FHCO's Financial Literacy page
FHCO's Collected Information on Foreclosure Prevention (scroll down to #5)
FHCO's Collected Information on Predatory Lending (scroll down to #4)
FHCO's Homeownership Resources page
Landlord Trade Associations and Other Groups in Oregon and SW Washington
Free Housing Ads
Lead Hazards in Housing
RMLS Accessibility Brochure: What You Don't Know About Your Listings and RMLS Search Options May Have You Missing the Mark on a Significant Market Segment!
Fair housing is serious business, and all of us work hard to ensure compliance with the requirements of the Fair Housing Act and other fair housing laws. Despite all your best efforts, you may still find yourself faced with a fair housing complaint and its accompanying investigation. You may wish to view our Enforcement Flow Chart at www.FHCO.org/pdfs/EnfFlowChart.pdf.
First, don’t take it personally. On the other hand, you should take the complaint seriously. Read the complaint documents you've received very carefully. Such documentation will including important information about your rights and specific timelines to be aware of. Don't miss this opportunity to present your side of the story.
We strongly advised you to speak with an attorney well-versed in fair housing law with any questions you may have. Note that a real estate or landlord / tenant attorney may or may not be adequately trained in fair housing issues.
While they do not provide legal represntation, you might also contact a local landlord trade association. Many of them offer a hotline where volunteer members answer callers' questions. Click here for a list of landlord trade associations in Oregon and SW Washington.
Gather all the documents that relate to the complaint. If you have maintained written resident files, and have established and adhered to consistent operating policies, this should not be a difficult task. Be sure to keep detailed written records of what happened, including dates, times, who was involved, as well as the names of possible witnesses. Keep an ongoing log of suspequent events.
You may get a call from the investigator handling the case, asking you to consider "conciliation" (settlement) of the complaint. HUD and all agencies certified by HUD have a statutory duty to attempt conciliation at some point during the investigation. The investigator is impartial—like a mediator, shuttling offers and counteroffers between the parties.
Many complaints are resolved with conciliation. In the event the investigating agency does find evidence to believe a violation has occurred, the agency ceases to be impartial and then begins steps to remedy the damage done by the discrimination.
To summarize, when you are notifled that a complaint of a fair housing violation has been filed against you or your company:
Following these simple steps should result in a faster, less complicated, and ultimately less costly resolution of the complaint.
Additional Information on Responding to a Fair Housing Complaint:
Compliments of the Fair Housing Partners of Washington State
One must file a complaint with HUD within one year of the incident or file a lawsuit in federal or state court within two years of the incident.
What about Retaliation?
It is illegal for a housing provider to retaliate against a housing consumer for inquiring about his / her fair housing rights, filing a discrimination complaint, or otherwise taking steps to legally protect his / her civil rights in housing.
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