Every year at Compass Property Management, we have a breakfast with the Fair Housing Center of West Michigan. We really value this time with all of our employees to learn and grow as a team. One of our core values at Compass is to Treat Everyone With Dignity. This is the basis of Fair Housing. On the Fair Housing Center of West Michigan’s website, you will read on the front page: The Fair Housing Center of West Michigan is the front door to housing choice, ensuring everyone has equal opportunity to choose housing that’s right for them. We work to prevent housing discrimination, remove barriers that allow it to persist, and restore housing choice when discrimination happens.
Compass is an advocate for doing the right thing. We provide a most basic need to the people of our community, housing. Every year there are new trends and laws that impact our industry. We strive to stay in front of them, and make sure everyone on our team is compliant and has a full understanding of the laws. We only hire employees that have this same mission, whether it be maintenance, property managers, front office staff or leasing. Everyone at Compass has to adhere to Fair Housing all the time, in every situation or they are out. This also applies to the clients, the owners that we represent on a daily basis.
Some of the most interesting things we learned today at our session are listed below. To learn more about fair housing, we encourage you to visit this site: http://www.fhcwm.org/.
- 6,595 Discrimination Complaints were made in our Region which encompasses Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio in the year 2014.
- Disability complaints are trending upwards and are currently the number one protected class in our region to receive complaints. Race and Familial Status are second and third.
- A person with a disability can request a reasonable accommodation orally or in writing.
- You can not charge a tenant who needs an accessible parking space for the costs associated with it.
- You can not ask for proof of a disability if it is obvious.
- A prescription for a service animal is sufficient to substantiate a reasonable accommodation request for an assistance animal.
- Housing providers may be responsible for paying for upkeep of maintenance related to a reasonable modification on a case by case basis.
- You can not require that an assistance animal have an official license or certification under the Fair Housing Act.
- A housing provider may request information that: 1. Describes the needed modification 2. Shows the relationship between the person’s disability and the need for the requested modification.
- Housing Providers should:
- Recognize both formal and informal requests
- Engage in meaningful dialogue
- Respond Promptly
- Document request and your response(s)
- Keep all information Confidential
We encourage you to contact Fair Housing directly with questions. We have found their office to be informative and helpful in bettering our industry. We appreciate their guidance in protecting our clients and their advocacy for our residents.