real estate: Michigan Real Estate License Holding Company - 12/15/10 10:27 AM
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real estate: Requirements for Using Fair Housing Logos and Posters - 09/22/10 02:07 PM
 

Using the fair housing logo is a great way to show a commitment to fair housing.  Many housing providers use the Equal Housing Opportunity logo in their ads and on their written materials to show that they do business in compliance with fair housing laws.
HUD requires that owners and managers display a fair housing poster with its logo at rental offices.  This applies to rentals covered by the federal Fair Housing Act, and to dwellings rented through a real estate broker/agent.  See 24 C.F.R.  §§ 110.1 – 110.30.
Who Is Required to Display a Fair Housing Poster?
HUD’s … (3 comments)

real estate: What Housing Providers Need to Know About Service Animals - 06/14/10 11:25 AM

Under the Fair Housing Act, a housing provider cannot refuse housing to someone who is disabled because of their disability. Just as important, the law requires housing providers to accommodate a person’s disability by changing or modifying a rule or policy or practice when doing so is necessary to give the disabled person equal opportunity to use and enjoy his or her unit.
Under the Fair Housing Act, a housing provider who has established a "no pet" policy must allow a disabled resident to keep a service animal as a reasonable accommodation. The housing provider must allow the disabled resident … (2 comments)

real estate: Types of Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities Prohibited by the Fair Housing Act - 09/29/09 08:56 AM

The goal of the Fair Housing Act is to ensure “no person shall be subjected to discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin in the sale, rental or advertising of dwellings, in the provision of brokerage services, or in the availability of residential real-estate related transactions.” With respect to people with disabilities, the Act serves to:
Give people with disabilities opportunities to choose where they want to live; Assure that reasonable accommodations and reasonable modifications are made so that a person with a disability can secure and use housing as fully as a person … (0 comments)

real estate: Attorney Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison in Mortgage Loan Fraud Scheme - 05/30/09 04:34 PM

Here is another example of a recent legal case involving a fraudulent real estate scheme committed by a real estate agent. I try to post case summaries in order to provide timely updates to real estate professionals on important issues.
On May 11, 2009, John A. Yanchek was sentenced to 60 months in prison and ordered to forfeit $7.6 million for conspiracy to commit loan fraud, bank fraud, and money laundering.
According to court documents, Mr. Yanchek was a licensed Florida attorney who did business as the law firm of John A. Yanchek, P.A., in Sarasota, Florida. Mr. Yanchek represented … (5 comments)

real estate: Real Estate Agent Sentenced to 46 Months in Prison in Scheme to Defraud Mortgage Lenders - 05/30/09 04:20 PM

Here is another example of a recent legal case involving a fraudulent real estate scheme committed by a real estate agent. I try to post case summaries in order to provide timely updates to real estate professionals on important issues.
On May 11, 2009, Oladipo Olafunmiloye, a real estate agent, was sentenced to 46 months in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release, for bank fraud and money laundering in connection with a scheme to defraud mortgage lenders. At the sentencing, the judge found that Mr. Olafunmiloye’s fraudulent scheme incurred losses of $3 million and ordered him … (3 comments)

real estate: Advertising Under the Fair Housing Act - 03/21/09 05:31 PM

In addition to discriminatory housing practices (such as refusing to sell or rent a dwelling, falsely denying the availability of a dwelling, and refusing to make a reasonable accommodation for a disabled person), housing discrimination laws prohibit advertising about the sale or rental of a dwelling in a discriminatory manner.
The Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful to discriminate in the sale, rental, and financing of housing because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.  Section 804(c) of the Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful to “make, print, or publish, or cause to be made, printed, … (4 comments)

real estate: Fair Housing-Related Presidential Executive Orders - 03/21/09 05:10 PM

Real estate professionals are hopefully already aware of the federal Fair Housing Act and the various fair housing laws of individual states.  Most people are, however, unaware of fair housing-related Presidential Executive Orders. 
Executive orders are official documents, numbered consecutively, through which the President of the United States manages the operations of the federal government.   Executive orders are legally binding orders given by the President, acting as the head of the Executive Branch.  Executive orders are generally used to direct federal agencies and officials in their execution of laws or policies established by Congress.
To date, there have been six … (1 comments)

real estate: Who Must Comply with the Fair Housing Act? - 03/20/09 08:18 PM

The Fair Housing Act is very broad and applies to wide variety of people.  Because the law is worded in a way that prohibits actions by “a person” and then defines “person” very broadly, the law can be applied to many people and entities that engage in all types of housing activities. A few examples include:
Most owners of housing, even if they’re not directly involved in the alleged discrimination Managers, on site and off site, and property management companies Homeowners’ Associations who make rules and operate condominiums and co-ops Lenders, including direct lenders, lenders who loan money with a … (2 comments)

real estate: Does an Apartment Complex with a Clearly Posted "No Pets" Policy Need to Allow Tenants with Service Animals? - 03/20/09 07:42 PM

Does an apartment complex with a clearly posted "no pets" policy need to allow tenants with service animals?
This is a very common question in real estate, and something that every real estate professional should know.  This issue arises almost daily in conjunction with condominium rules and regulations, apartment complex rules, and generally to all rental housing, many of which have "no pets" policies.
The answer is, yes.  A service animal is not a pet.  Federal fair housing laws require landlords and property managers to modify their "no pets" policies to allow the use of a service animal by a … (5 comments)

real estate: Get a jump on your Michigan Real Estate Continuing Education! - 03/14/09 12:13 PM
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Classes are 100% online, so take classes wherever there is an Internet connection Work at your own pace (start/stop whenever you want) Complete a few hours or all of your required hours at once We offer courses in 2, 3, 4 and 6 hour increments, so you can pick topics that … (0 comments)

real estate: Who qualifies as a person with a disability under the Fair Housing Act? - 03/07/09 10:04 AM
The following is a summary of what it takes to qualify as a "person with a disability" under the Fair Housing Act.
The Fair Housing Act defines a person with a disability to include (1) individuals with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; (2) individuals who are regarded as having such an impairment; and (3) individuals with a record of such an impairment.  The Act defines certain terms as follows:
The term “physical or mental impairment” includes, but is not limited to, such diseases and conditions as orthopedic, visual, speech and hearing impairments, … (0 comments)

real estate: Types of Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities Prohibited by the Fair Housing Act - 03/07/09 09:46 AM
The goal of the Fair Housing Act is to ensure “no person shall be subjected to discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin in the sale, rental or advertising of dwellings, in the provision of brokerage services, or in the availability of residential real-estate related transactions.” With respect to people with disabilities, the Act serves to:
Give people with disabilities opportunities to choose where they want to live; Assure that reasonable accommodations and reasonable modifications are made so that a person with a disability can secure and use housing as fully as a person without … (0 comments)

real estate: Yesterday the U.S. Department of Justice Sued a Large Multi-Family Housing Developer Alleging Disability-Based Housing Discrimination - 03/05/09 07:45 AM

Here is another example of a lawsuit that was recently filed by the United States Department of Justice ("DOJ") to enforce the Fair Housing Act. I try to post summaries of these types of cases in order to provide timely updates to real estate professionals about the "dos and don'ts" under the Fair Housing Act, since fair housing is such an important issue.
Yesterday afternoon (Wednesday, March 4, 2009), the DOJ filed a lawsuit against JPI Construction L.P. (“JPI”) and six JPI-affiliated companies for failing to provide accessible features required by the Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities … (2 comments)

real estate: In the wake of the attacks of September 11, 2001, is it okay to screen housing applicants on the basis of their citizenship status? - 03/01/09 02:59 PM
The question often arises whether is it okay to screen housing applicants on the basis of their citizenship status.   This question seems to have come up more often in the wake of the attacks of September 11, 2001.
The Fair Housing Act does not prohibit discrimination based solely on a person's citizenship status.  Accordingly, asking housing applicants to provide documentation of their citizenship or immigration status during the screening process would not violate the Fair Housing Act.  In fact, such measures have been in place for a number of years in screening applicants for federally-assisted housing.  For these properties, HUD regulations … (0 comments)

real estate: Some Examples of Discriminatory Advertisements in Real Estate - 03/01/09 02:26 PM

As every real estate professional should already know, the Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin and disability. Fair housing laws prohibit making, printing or publishing any notice, statement, or advertisement that indicates any preference, limitation, or discrimination based on a protected class.
Although not an exhaustive list, the following are a few examples of what might constitute a discriminatory housing advertisement.
1.   Race/Color
Ads stating a preference for the race of a desired applicant (e.g., “no blacks,” “whites only,” etc.) Ads describing the race of current occupants … (2 comments)

real estate: Requirements for Using Fair Housing Logos and Posters - 02/27/09 01:55 PM
 

Using the fair housing logo is a great way to show a commitment to fair housing.  Many housing providers use the Equal Housing Opportunity logo in their ads and on their written materials to show that they do business in compliance with fair housing laws.
HUD requires that owners and managers display a fair housing poster with its logo at rental offices.  This applies to rentals covered by the federal Fair Housing Act, and to dwellings rented through a real estate broker/agent.  See 24 C.F.R.  §§ 110.1 – 110.30.
Who Is Required to Display a Fair Housing Poster?
HUD’s … (1 comments)

real estate: A Housing Provider or Homeowner’s Association May Not Condition Approval of a Request for a Reasonable Modification on the Requester Obtaining Special Liability Insurance - 02/27/09 01:39 PM
The question often arises whether a housing provider or homeowner’s association may condition the approval of a request for a reasonable modification (under the Fair Housing Act) on the requester obtaining special liability insurance.
The answer is, no. Imposition of such a requirement would constitute a violation of the Fair Housing Act.
For Example: Because of a mobility disability, a tenant wants to install a ramp outside his unit. The housing provider informs the tenant that the ramp may be installed, but only after the tenant obtains separate liability insurance for the ramp out of concern for the housing provider’s potential … (0 comments)

real estate: How Does A Housing Provider Know If An Accommodation Or Modification Request Is “Reasonable”? When Can The Housing Provider Refuse A Request? - 02/27/09 01:28 PM
Under the Fair Housing Act, a person with a disability may be entitled to a reasonable accommodation or modification.  A reasonable modification is a structural change made to the premises whereas a reasonable accommodation is a change, exception, or adjustment to a rule, policy, practice, or service. A person with a disability may need either a reasonable accommodation or a reasonable modification, or both, in order to have an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling, including public and common use spaces.
An accommodation or modification is reasonable if:
It is related to the resident’s disability needs; Is not an … (0 comments)

real estate: Instances When a Housing Provider Can Deny a Request for a Reasonable Accommodation Without Violating the Fair Housing Act - 02/27/09 01:16 PM
A housing provider can deny a request for a reasonable accommodation if the request was not made by or on behalf of a person with a disability or if there is no disability-related need for the accommodation. In addition, a request for a reasonable accommodation may be denied if providing the accommodation is not reasonable (i.e., if it would impose an undue financial and administrative burden on the housing provider or it would fundamentally alter the nature of the provider’s operations). The determination of undue financial and administrative burden must be made on a case-by-case basis involving various factors, such as … (0 comments)

 
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