Legal Department

The RHJ Legal Department is dedicated to educating and informing property managers, multifamily executives, on-site managers, landlords, real estate investors, apartment maintenance staff and other industry professionals about Fair Housing, Section 8, landlords tenant laws and other real estate laws on a local and national level.

fair housing section 8 landlord tenant law
Tue
20
Feb
The Editors's picture

If HUD Calls Do You Have Documentation To Defend Yourself?

If HUD Calls Do You Have Documentation To Defend Yourself?

The Grace Hill training tip of the week focuses on the issue of documentation to help property management professionals defend themselves in the event of a Fair Housing Act discrimination charge.

 By Ellen Clark

Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded $37 million to more than 150 national and local organizations working to confront Fair Housing Act violations.

The enforcement will come through testing, filing fair housing complaints, and investigations by these organizations.

 In order to successfully defend your decisions, policies, and practices, as well as demonstrate that all persons were treated the same, your documentation must be complete and contain relevant facts. This seems like a good time to talk about documentation.

Fri
09
Feb
The Editors's picture

Rent Control Does More Harm Than Good New Study Says

Rent Control Does More Harm Than Good New Study Says

A new study by Stanford University professors of rent control in San Francisco concludes that it does more harm than good and can cause housing shortages that reduce the number of low-income people who can live in a city.

Economists Rebecca Diamond, Timothy McQuade and Franklin Qian did the study, “The Effects of Rent Control Expansion on Tenants, Landlords, and Inequality: Evidence from San Francisco.”

“Steadily rising housing rents in many of the U.S.’s large, productive cities has brought the issue of affordable housing to the forefront of the policy debate and reignited the discussion over expanding or enacting rent control provisions,” the report states.

 

Wed
31
Jan
The Editors's picture

Company Appeals To Stop Short-Term Airbnb Rentals At Apartments

Company appeals to stop short-term rentals at its properties

One of the largest owners and operators of apartments in the U.S. wants to stop short-term rentals that violate its leases, and has filed an appeal in California to stop Airbnb from illegally renting its apartments, according to a release.

"We are standing up for the rights of our company and our residents who want and expect to live in peaceful, quiet residential communities," Aimco Executive Vice President of Operations Keith Kimmel, said in the release. "Our residents do not want to live in a de-facto hotel for spring-break partiers, vacationers and other unvetted strangers who disturb the peace at all hours, who have caused significant property damage, and who pose a safety risk to our residents."

Tue
30
Jan
The Editors's picture

Research Recommends Portland Remove Small Landlord Exemption

Research Recommends Portland Remove Small Landlord Exemption

A new research study recommends Portland remove the small landlord exception for owners who have only one property and require them to pay moving expenses if they evict a tenant for no-cause or rent increases over 10 percent, according to reports.

Chariot Wheel Research Consultants authored the study which says, “This single-unit exemption not only undermines the spirit of the law, it leaves nearly 20% of renter households vulnerable to the same double-digit rent increases and no-cause evictions which precipitated the housing state of emergency to begin with, thus perpetuating and exacerbating the very hardships the RELO ordinance seeks to mitigate.

Mayor Ted Wheeler says more study is needed before any changes

Thu
11
Jan
John Triplett's picture

7 Issues And Answers About Renting To Felons

7 issues and answers about renting to felons

7 issues and answers about renting to felons that landlords and property managers need to know.

By John Triplett

Rental Housing Journal

Are “no-felony-ever” lease clauses dead? We decided to ask this question of an expert in the field of investigations and tenant screenings to follow up all debate last year over whether landlords are required to rent to someone with a felony record.

David Pickron, owner of RentPerfect, an investigative screening company in Arizona, says the days of saying “no-felony-ever” are over for landlords unless the felony is a sex offense.

“We really tackled this hard in April and May of 2016 when the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) first came out with their guidelines,” PIckron said in an interview. 

Tue
09
Jan
The Editors's picture

North Portland Apartment Owners Sued By 19 Tenants

North Portland Apartment Owners Sued By 19 Tenants

The new owners of the North Portland Melrose Apartments have been renovating units since they purchased the complex in 2016, but have now been sued by a group of current and former tenants, according to reports.

The tenants’ sued alleging unsafe living conditions.

“Current residents describe living in substandard conditions surrounded by persistent mold, cockroaches and numerous other violations of local and state rental housing laws,”  Pamela Phan, an organizer with the Community Alliance of Tenants, which has been organizing in the complex for three years, told katu.com news.

Mon
20
Nov
The Editors's picture

HUD Charges Landlord With Sexual Harassment Of Female Tenants

Landlord charged with sexual harassment of female tenants

The landlord and owner of several rental properties in Wichita, Kansas has been charged with sexual harassment of female tenants and housing discrimination after the landlord allegedly offered to exchange sex for rent, according to a release.

“Landlords who use their position to intimidate or harass residents or to attempt to trade sexual favors for rent violate the sanctity of a woman’s home, the place where she should feel the safest,” Anna María Farías, HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, said in the release.

 “HUD is committed to protecting the housing rights of those who are sexually harassed and will continue to take action any time housing providers violate those rights.”

Mon
13
Nov
The Editors's picture

Landlords Missing Rent Payments Online After Company Bankruptcy

Landlords missing online rent payments after company bankruptcy

Dozens of landlords around the country are missing rent payments online and still trying to collect funds tied up in an online ecommerce dispute that had led to a Kentucky-based online company bankruptcy last month.

CC Operations LLC dba eCHECKit, filed a bankruptcy petition in October in Kentucky. eCHECKit is the payment processor for the 13-year-old Fort Collins, Colorado, company eRentPayment, which offers landlords and property managers the convenience of collecting rent payments online.

According to eRentPayment’s website, tenants pay rent on the company's secure website and it is processed in the automatic clearinghouse, or ACH, network and then deposited in the landlords' accounts.

It is still unclear how many landlords may have received some payments and how many are still missing rent payments online and seeking payments from reports.

Wed
18
Oct
The Editors's picture

HUD Charges Landlord With Discrimination Over Veteran's Emotional Support Dog

HUD charges landlord with discrimination over veteran's emotional support dog

An Army veteran, who served tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, was told he could not keep his emotional support dog in an apartment complex and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has charged the owner and manager of the complex with discrimination, according to a release.

"Assistance animals play a vital role in helping our veterans cope with service-related disabilities," Anna Maria Farías, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, said in the release.

 "Housing providers have an obligation to permit these animals, and HUD ensures that they meet this obligation," she said.

Tue
26
Sep
The Editors's picture

Seattle Area Landlords To Pay $95,000 To Settle Discrimination Complaint

Seattle Area Landlords To Pay $95,000 To Settle Discrimination Complaint

The owners and manager of three Edmonds, Washington, apartment buildings north of Seattle have reached a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice to resolve a lawsuit filed earlier this year following a discrimination complaint..

The lawsuit alleged that those landlords refused to rent their apartments to families with children, in violation of the Fair Housing Act, according to a release.

The landlords will pay $95,000 in damages and civil penalties to settle the discrimination complaint, according to the release.

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