|2010 Kimball, Tirey and St. John LLP|
Re: Fair Housing Update |
Dear Valued Client:
Preventing problems is often far less costly than resolving them after problems have developed. Kimball, Tirey & St. John recognizes this, and as a service to our clients, we try to keep our clients apprised of new developments that may affect their business.
One of the new developments in the area of fair housing law relates to the amount of penalties that can be assessed for a violation of fair housing laws. A recent HUD interpretation of applicable law concluded that a civil penalty can be assessed for each instance of violation. This is a departure from earlier interpretations which provided for only one civil penalty per case. In other words, where an Administrative Law Judge determines that there has been two separate and distinct violations of the law, two civil penalties could be assessed. Under current law, the civil penalty on a single violation is between $10,000.00 and $50,000.00. The potential impact of this interpretation is clear; this may significantly increase the potential liability in fair housing cases.
Kimball, Tirey & St. John will argue on behalf of its clients that this HUD interpretation does not necessarily apply to cases investigated through DFEH in California but, until this area of law is clarified, it raises the ceiling for potential damages which could be awarded in instances of Fair Housing violations.
Another case which may be of interest involved a landlord that refused to rent to a woman with tattoos. In this Monrovia, California federal court case (not defended by our firm), a judge awarded $30,990.00 in compensatory and punitive damages against the landlord. The court will also be entertaining a motion to award additional damages for attorney fees in this case.
Our clients should recognize that the potential liability in fair housing cases is high and they should work to prevent these problems from occurring. Feel free to share this update information with others so that the importance of ongoing fair housing compliance is recognized by everyone in your company.
To receive future legal alerts via e-mail, please provide us with your e-mail address by sending your reply to email@example.com. Thank you.
Very truly yours,
KIMBALL, TIREY & ST. JOHN
Craig D. McMahon
Attorney at Law
|Kimball, Tirey & St. John LLP is a law firm that specializes in landlord/tenant, collections, fair housing and business and real estate, with offices throughout California. Property owner's and manager's with questions regarding the contents of this article, please call 800.338.6039.|
|© 2010 Kimball, Tirey and St. John LLP|