Dear Fair Housing Lady: Community Events

| February 4, 2014 | 2 Comments

Community Events ImageDear Fair Housing Lady,

We have been working very hard to offer community events that everyone will enjoy but it seems to be always family oriented and we do have a lot of other people in our housing units. How can we create these events that would be geared more towards the adult groups in our community without violating Fair Housing?

First of all, Ms. Collyear, congratulations on being both aware of and committed to the need to include all of your residents in community events. I do believe (although I warn you not to take this as legal advice because it isn’t) that you may have the occasional event that is not aimed as families. However, there are two caveats to this. First, even if an event is not targeted to families, it should be promoted on an “everyone welcome” or “all residents are invited to” basis. You cannot even hint or suggest that residents should not bring their children if they wish. Secondly, the operational word here is “occasional” (in fact, let’s have two operational words: “very occasional”). Such events should be offered rarely.

I can draw a parallel to this with swimming pools. You cannot have adult swims (don’t even think about that!) But you can, for example, have lap swim times with the same 2 caveats as above. Children who can swim well can in fact swim laps during those times and lap swims will be very occasional – perhaps 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the afternoon.

While you may have residents who complain about your event because they do not like to socialize with certain of their neighbors (the child ones), that is their problem. If you cater to that in violation of fair housing law it will totally become your problem (with all that such entails, including your money). So stay smart!

Category: Familial Status, General Fair Housing Information

About Nadeen Green: Nadeen Green has been an attorney since 1979. She has taught Fair Housing law to the multi-family housing industry since the Fair Housing Amendments Act when into effect in 1989. She has been asked to speak numerous times for the National Apartment Association and the Multi-Housing World annual conventions. Her reader-friendly articles on Fair Housing appear regularly in industry publications. Nadeen is proud to be Senior Counsel with For Rent Media Solutions, which offers print and online advertising products for all communities, whether through For Rent Magazine®, ForRent.com, Para Rentar, Senior Outlook, After 55, or specialized publications for condominiums and student housing. .

Comments (2)

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  1. So in reference to your comments about “no adult swim time” I take it that we would not be able to have “adult only” swim times one nite a week for maybe two hours at our community? We don’t but I recently shopped another community that does and I thought it was a great idea….but apparenty not!
    Thanks!

    • Nadeen Green says:

      You take it correctly that you cannot have “adult only” swims at your community. You could occasionally (very occasionally) have swim events (such as lap swim) for a brief period, but keep in mind that a youngster who is a good swimmer could swim laps at that time as well (not just the adults). This issue has had its “day in court”; if nothing else landlords need to learn from the transgressions and mistakes of others…and then be smart (as you have been with asking for the clarification).

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