Fair Housing & Discrimination

Americans with Disabilities Act

In continuing with its commitment to provide and promote equal opportunity for all people, IREM heartily endorses an end to discrimination against individuals with disabilities. We encourage the regulatory agencies charged with the responsibility of enforcing the Act to adopt fair and workable regulations to ensure and facilitate timely compliance by public accommodations. Fair and workable policies should include considering “financial burden" as a reasonable criterion when determining any obligation of compliance with ADAAG for existing facilities and alterations.

IREM will continually support legislation to create a “notice and cure” provision within Title III of the ADA. This would allow business owners the opportunity to rectify violations within a reasonable amount of time before being threatened with costly lawsuits or demand letters for a monetary settlement. IREM believes that this reform will protect building owners, while still holding them accountable for ensuring accessibility to all Americans.  

Assistance Animals in Multifamily Housing

Requests for assistance animals have increased, particularly in properties with no-pets policies or properties that impose weight or breed limitations or charge pet deposits or fees.

IREM supports the rights of persons with disabilities to make reasonable accommodation requests so they may have equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling.

IREM supports property owners’ and managers’ ability to ensure that the benefit of reasonable accommodation applies to only those who rightfully need the accommodation and to alleviate potential abuse by tenants and prospective tenants who fraudulently claim their pets are assistance animals.

Disparate Impact Housing Theory

We oppose policies and practices known to have a disparate impact on any demographic group defined by race, color, religion, national origin, sex, handicap, familial status, sexual orientation, or gender identity. In cases of legitimate business purposes where there is no reasonable alternative, we support the right to continue a policy or practice that could have a disparate impact.

IREM supports requiring that the party alleging the discrimination has the burden of proving that a policy or practice has a discriminatory effect.

Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity

IREM opposes discrimination in tenant decisions and housing practices. The Federal Fair Housing Law, which we strongly support, provides for the right of all people to freely choose where they will live without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, handicap, or familial status. In addition to these protected classes, IREM supports the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Mrs. Murphy Exemptions

The Mrs. Murphy Exemption exempts owner-occupied properties with four or fewer rental units from state and local laws governing the landlord-tenant relationship and fair housing practices. It is important to note the “Mrs. Murphy’s” exemptions do not apply to rental advertising.

IREM believes that all properties should be subject to the same laws and regulations that require fair and equitable treatment of renters regardless of the size of the property.

Source of income as a protected class

IREM supports everyone’s access to affordable housing, regardless of a person’s legal sources of income. However, IREM opposes policies that force owners to enter contractual relationships with third parties.

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