Fair Housing and Beyond: What You Missed
This is a guest post by Carina Miles, one of your Market Director’s for 407apartments, a local search for apartments in Orlando.
Last week, Central Florida apartment industry professionals had the opportunity to take “Fair Housing and Beyond” at AAGO with Doug Chasick, The Apartment Doctor. Doug also happens to be one of the NAAEI Review Team Members for this course – talk about hearing it straight from the horse’s mouth! His insight on this topic and way of teaching was so unique that we had share some class take-aways.
Fair Housing: A Way to Be
The very first thing he encouraged us to try doing, was to “look at Fair Housing as a way to be, not a way to act.” Fair housing laws can be overwhelming and even a little frightening. Many of us may find ourselves trying to act a certain way to protect ourselves from liability. If we change our way of thinking, and rather adopt these best practices, we can be sure we are providing everyone with equal opportunity and treatment.
Practically every apartment community has some sort of pet policy in place, whether it’s a weight limit, breed restriction, number of pets allowed, etc. Abiding by these policies becomes tricky when assistant animals are brought into the mix. Doug helped the class break down animals into two categories to determine if we need to abide by the pet policy or not. * Pet: This animal is with a renter by choice. Pets must fall into your pet policies and any associated fees apply to them. * Assistive Animals: These animals are with the renter by necessity. They may be a service animal or an emotional support animal. In either case, these animals do not need to meet your pet policies and any pet fee should be waived as long as appropriate documentation has been provided by their caregiver. Whether it’s a pet or an assistive animal, they are all required to follow all local ordinances, such as: leash and vaccination laws.
By code, every community must provide a certain number of designated handicap spots based on the size of their community. So what should we do if a resident requests the need for a reserved spot? The first thought may be to add additional handicap spaces; however, Doug let us know that the best thing to do is to create a reserved or reserved accessible spot. Handicap spots are open to anyone who can legally park in a handicap spot. By creating a reserved spot, you are reserving it for your resident in need.
These are just a handful of the topics that were discussed throughout this class. If you missed it, be sure to reach out to Lydia at Lydia@aago.org to find out when the next Fair Housing and Beyond class will be held.