Episode 19 of Fair Housing Insiders
Is a fair housing attorney needed in property management? In this episode, we discuss why and when you should consult a fair housing attorney.
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
Table of contents
Highlights of Episode 19 – Consult a Fair Housing Attorney
Fair Housing Act- Who Can Interpret it Best?
Is consulting a fair housing attorney always necessary? Perhaps you feel that you have enough training and your policies are already in practice, so why should you have to?
Or perhaps you are looking at your company’s operating expenses and attorney fees seem like a good place to make a few cuts.
This couldn’t be further from the truth. Consulting an attorney that specializes in fair housing laws is an inescapable and unavoidable part of this industry.
Although the short-term savings may seem like a good idea, consider the cost of just one fair housing complaint.
Fair Housing Policies
Fair housing laws are ever-evolving. As a result, your policies should follow suit. Whether the policy is completely new or just updated, they need to be reviewed by an attorney.
Fair housing best practices dictate that policies be reviewed internally every year and then again reviewed by a fair housing attorney every three to five years.
If the lawyer makes any adjustments, be sure that the changes are communicated effectively to all pertinent staff.
Small to Moderate Property Management Companies- Legal Best Practices
Most smaller property management companies do not have an in-house legal department. So what should their best practices be?
As stated before, they would want to seek a lawyer’s expertise when reviewing or updating policies. They would also definitely want to consult a fair housing lawyer if they have specific questions that they aren’t sure of or if a fair housing event arises with a resident.
In-House Fair Housing Legal Departments
Larger companies generally have the benefit of an in-house fair housing legal department. But is there a clear channel of communication? Does your staff know who to go to if they have a question?
If you are unsure as a staff member, be sure to ask your supervisor. You absolutely need to know who your point of contact is.
Fair Housing Attorney Costs- An Investment
Just as you invest in proper safety equipment like sprinklers and fire extinguishers for your buildings in an emergency, you need to invest in a qualified legal team in the event of a fair housing legal emergency.
By investing in these services, you can lower your risk of costly fair housing complaints and court cases. A great rule of thumb to remember is: mitigate before you litigate!
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