Get 2 months of free community web site hosting from Community123.com!
Sunday, August 19, 2018
Get 2 months of free community web site hosting from Community123.com!


SBCA: Free education for HOAs and condos on satellite placement issues.
(National Trade Organization)
Helping HOAs, condos and property managers with satellite placement issues since 1986.
Only members have access to all features.
Click here to join HOATalk for Free! Members click here to login and access all features.
Subject: Fair Housing/Real Estate Attorney referral in Southern CA
Prev Next
Please login to post a reply (click Member Login on the menu).
Author Messages
YoungP
(California)

Posts:8


06/11/2018 5:40 AM  
I would greatly appreciate it if someone could provide a referral to a Fair Housing/RE attorney in Southern California (SW Riverside/Northern SD county) who can provide a free initial consultation.
AugustinD


Posts:1082


06/11/2018 7:27 AM  
These are not attorneys but are resources for filing a complaint, some of which may suggest attorneys:

https://www.dfeh.ca.gov/ .

Look up fair housing resources at http://nationalfairhousing.org/get-local-help/

I do not recommend using the federal HUD complaint procedure until you have more insight on the merit of your claim.
AugustinD


Posts:1082


06/11/2018 7:32 AM  
If you feel safe elaborating a little here, some of us might be able to provide some insight. Alternatively, many of us will communicate by private email on this subject, if you are comfortable sharing your email address and inviting people to respond in private.
JaneS13
(California)

Posts:31


06/11/2018 12:55 PM  
https://www.dfeh.ca.gov/complaint-process/
YoungP
(California)

Posts:8


06/11/2018 9:37 PM  
I recently bought a unit in Happy Acres HOA in Southern CA. Shortly thereafter I was elected to the BOD. I had 13 years of property management experience and taken real estate classes. I'm not a real estate expert but would like to think I have a grasp on broad real estate concepts.

For example, children were expressly prohibited from using the spa. There was an "Adult Only" pool. In the Rules and Regulations, there was the following rule for the basketball court: "Adults take priority over minors (under 18) in the evening after 6:00pm and on weekends. Failure to relinquish the court may result in loss of privileges."

When I discussed my concerns with the PM, I was told federal fair housing laws and Unruh were subordinate to Davis Sterling. Other board members and the PM became angry with me for suggesting they were doing something wrong. I tried to explain to the other board members I wasn't trying to point out some arcane provisions. Another board member complained to me that I wanted compliance "down the middle of the plate" but the board's current practices were "in the strike zone."

There's a lot more that happened in the past year (I could write a book).

I wanted to have a fair housing/real estate attorney to review the merits of my complaint in order to prevent a successful countersuit (I don't have the financial resources to legally defend myself).
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:2288


06/11/2018 9:45 PM  
YoungP, please review the posting rules for this site. Mentioning the name of your association is a no-no.
YoungP
(California)

Posts:8


06/11/2018 10:08 PM  
"Happy Acres HOA" isn't the name of the HOA in question; I've seen people use Happy Acres HOA as a generic reference to their HOA on this forum.

AugustinD


Posts:1082


06/11/2018 10:09 PM  
YoungP, the examples you gave would raise concerns for me as well. As I think you know, some or all of your examples may qualify as hostility to children, corresponding to discrimination on the basis of familial status, and so corresponding to possible violations of the federal Fair Housing Act and possibly state non-discrimination laws as well.

Your PM is ridiculous for asserting that federal fair housing law is subordinate to Davis Stirling.

Here's another organization you can contact to get more insight into whether what your HOA is doing is violating the FHA:
https://fairhousingact.org/

You could just file a preliminary complaint with HUD, be honest and say you are not sure, and let HUD rule on whether it will do a full-blown investigation. See https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/fair_housing_equal_opp/complaint-process
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7534


06/12/2018 5:11 AM  
May I point out something about these two concerns/complaints... 1st off children are not being discriminated against for not being able to use a spa. It's actually a SAFETY issue. If you have read or seen stories about children and spas, then you would know. The spa drain if has something wrong or even in normal operations can suck a child down under the water. Many kids drown this way. Plus even more scarier? If they sit on it? Their intestines can be sucked out. Gross but true. Seen a story on a little girl who did survive but lost much of her small intestine. I personally would not want a child in the spa without direct supervision. Would never call it "discrimination".

The basketball thing? Kids in the evening after school should be doing homework. They can play afterwards. Plus the fact that a HOA is owned and operated by ADULTS not children. So if the adults have some kind of Basketball team/squad, by golly they are going to play the court over the kids. They paid for that court and thus can make the rules.

So before we go "discrimination". Let's look at the situation overall. The HOA adult owners can make the rules. Some of which are protective or maybe even a bit selfish. My opinion is that as a paying for the amenity adult member, I would indeed put anyone not a member in 2nd place.

Former HOA President
CjC
(Maryland)

Posts:126


06/12/2018 6:55 AM  
At first I didn't agree with Melissa's post but then I realized that our HOA is organized in to: Members (who must be owners) Residents (children over 12 and tenants) and then Children. Members may bring 10 guests to the amenities (pools and beaches) Residents may being 2 guests and Children must be accompanied by a member or resident. SO different ages have different rights here. Is that legal? Not sure, never really thought that much. but I agree that all the 12 year olds shouldn't be at the pool without a parent, but able to bring 10 friends in. That could cause a nightmare. Not sure I totally agree with kicking kids off the courts. I would rather them be playing ball than video games or off wandering causing mischief.
YoungP
(California)

Posts:8


06/12/2018 7:21 AM  
As I said in my earlier post, the examples I provided are the proverbial tip of the iceberg. Hence the request for an attorney to review the merits of a potential complaint before moving forward.

With respect to particular rules and regulations, the crux of debate has been the balance between equal access and safety concerns. At the risk of starting a political debate (which is not my intention), California tends to be more liberal than other states and leans towards equal access despite safety concerns.
AugustinD


Posts:1082


06/12/2018 8:09 AM  
This California and Davis-Stirling site says that young children may be prohibited from using a spa/hot tub and explains that the high temperatures are the problem: https://www.davis-stirling.com/HOME/Hot-Tub . But it appears that only really young children that may be prohibited.


A few examples backing up YoungP's other (tip of the iceberg) concerns follow. Interchange "basketball court" with "swimming pool" as needed, and I can see problems with what YoungP described.

From https://www.clemonslaw.com/recent-news/what-associations-should-know-about-pool-rules-the-fair-housing-act/:

Since adoption of the FAH in 1988, a number of lawsuits have challenged swimming pool rules on the basis that they constitute discrimination against “familial status” (against families with children). Several of these cases have held that rules requiring adult supervision, adult only swim times, and no-children areas, violate the Fair Housing Act. Consider the following examples:

Iniestra v. Cliff Warren Investments, Inc., C.D.Cal.2012, 886 F.Supp.2d 1161 (California). In this California case, an apartment complex rule stated that “Children under the age of 18 are not allowed in the pool or pool area at any time unless accompanied by their parents or legal guardian”. After being cited for violations of this rule, the plaintiff’s (a husband and wife with 3 children) filed suit alleging that the pool rule violated the Fair Housing Act. The court found that the rule was “facially discriminatory”, in that it “treated children, and families with children, differently and less favorably than adult-only households”. Once determined to be “facially discriminatory”, a defendant must establish that the subject regulation is the “least restrictive means to meet a compelling business necessity”. Citing to similar cases, the court held that “a prohibition on unsupervised swimming which would prevent even a 17-year old certified lifeguard from swimming unaccompanied is overly restrictive”. Similarly, “while the Court recognizes the inherent dangers of unsupervised swimming, the requirement of parent or legal guardian supervision transforms this rule from one that could be reasonably interpreted as a safety precaution to one that simply limits children and their families”. Although the court offered no guidance regarding pool rules, it wrote the following concerning noise and adult supervision: “Indeed, children might make noise even if their parents are present. More appropriate policies might have simply prevented children from playing near gates or on the roof tops, or required all residents to maintain a certain noise level.”

Discrimination was likewise found in the case of Llanos v Estate of Coehlo (1998, ED Cal) 24 F Supp 2d 1052 (California), concerning a rule that restricted children’s swimming pool access to “family pools”, and prohibited children from playing in and around “adult areas”. A lease provision prohibiting children under age of eighteen from using a facilities’ swimming pool was also found to unlawfully discriminate against children in the case of Barbara King v Jeff Edelstein (12/9/91) HUDALJ 05-90-0821-1 (Ohio).

From http://www.gblafairhousing.org/family-status/:

A Bakersfield area mobile home park posted signs and rules for “adults only” swim times at its community pool. FHLP filed a housing discrimination complaint on behalf of a family affected by this discriminatory rule, and the complaint was settled after the park changed its rules to allow equal pool access to all residents, regardless of age, provided fair housing training to management personnel, and compensated the family for their loss of use of the pool.
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:2897


06/12/2018 8:48 AM  
Posted By YoungP on 06/12/2018 7:21 AM
As I said in my earlier post, the examples I provided are the proverbial tip of the iceberg. Hence the request for an attorney to review the merits of a potential complaint before moving forward.

With respect to particular rules and regulations, the crux of debate has been the balance between equal access and safety concerns. At the risk of starting a political debate (which is not my intention), California tends to be more liberal than other states and leans towards equal access despite safety concerns.



Welcome to California!
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5535


06/12/2018 9:14 AM  
Augustin is right, Young, and Melissa is wrong.

for one thing, many years ago--10 perhaps-- CA began requiring certain drains in pools & spas to prevent the sucking that Melissa shared with us. It's the law.

But HOAs can have rules that children 14 and under must be accompanied by 18 or over.

Whether kids should be doing homework in the evenings is NO business of an HOA. To avoid discrimination, an HOA could have a rule that no one could play after a certain hour. And that no one can ride a wheeled recreational device in the pool area.

That children don't pay dues and thus their (dues' paying) Parents must keep them out of certain amenities is the furtherest Melissa has gone with her unique logic.

Augustin cited davis-stirling.com, Young, and you can get accurate info there. And I'd think you'd want an HOA attorney not some other kind.

Why not place one to two of this examples of obvious discrimination of your board's agenda for next month and request to ask your HOA attorney's opinion?
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:2897


06/12/2018 9:32 AM  
Posted By GenoS on 06/11/2018 9:45 PM
YoungP, please review the posting rules for this site. Mentioning the name of your association is a no-no.



I really don't think there is a Happy Acres HOA in CA, that is more a midwest or southern thang.
TimM11


Posts:181


06/12/2018 9:59 AM  
Posted By YoungP on 06/11/2018 9:37 PM
When I discussed my concerns with the PM, I was told federal fair housing laws and Unruh were subordinate to Davis Sterling.




Your PM needs to go back to whatever grade they were in when they studied Civics if they think a state law can supercede a federal.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:2228


06/12/2018 10:51 AM  
If there hasn't been a formal complaint, I'd hold off on hiring an attorney for something that might not happen, but I do agree a review of these rules is in order because your association may be setting itself up for a lawsuit.

Regarding the spa, there IS a safety issue with kids getting in a pool or spa without adult supervision - kids being kids, they don't always have the safety awareness as adults. In fact the incidents Melissa mentioned about kids being sucked underwater and being seriously injured or killed is what prompted the Consumer Product Safety Commission to enact rules requiring certain equipment being installed in pools to prevent this. The name of the regulation escapes me, but I know there are some old conversations on it somewhere on this site. Or just go to the CPSC website and look around.

Then, check your spa to see if that safety equipment is in place. Finally, ask your attorney to weigh in on a reasonable rule. You might also google Fair Housing and age discrimination or something to get some useful information - start with this link on kids and pools: https://www.clemonslaw.com/recent-news/what-associations-should-know-about-pool-rules-the-fair-housing-act/

You will note that link makes a very important statement - "Rules should address conduct, not age or status". I think that's where Boards and the homeowners who insist on rules like this make their first mistake - you need to be hard on the problem and soft on the people (to quote a book on negotiation I read years ago) Instead we do it the other way around. Yes, I know sometimes the PEOPLE are the problem which is a whole 'nother conversation!

This brings us to the basketball court - I suspect that rule was enacted because kids and teens would play and play and play, completely ignoring the others waiting patiently and saying 'I got next" over and over. Maybe what you need is a rule limiting a game to an hour or so, so that others can play, or perhaps come p with some sort of sign up sheet where people can reserve the court. If there's been bad behavior on the court (e.g. people throwing punches after a hard foul), you can set some general rules about conduct, stating ANYONE displaying obnoxious behavior will be asked to stop it or escorted out of they don't.
YoungP
(California)

Posts:8


06/12/2018 11:11 AM  
Posted By KerryL1 on 06/12/2018 9:14 AM
Augustin is right, Young, and Melissa is wrong.

for one thing, many years ago--10 perhaps-- CA began requiring certain drains in pools & spas to prevent the sucking that Melissa shared with us. It's the law.

But HOAs can have rules that children 14 and under must be accompanied by 18 or over.

Whether kids should be doing homework in the evenings is NO business of an HOA. To avoid discrimination, an HOA could have a rule that no one could play after a certain hour. And that no one can ride a wheeled recreational device in the pool area.

That children don't pay dues and thus their (dues' paying) Parents must keep them out of certain amenities is the furtherest Melissa has gone with her unique logic.

Augustin cited davis-stirling.com, Young, and you can get accurate info there. And I'd think you'd want an HOA attorney not some other kind.

Why not place one to two of this examples of obvious discrimination of your board's agenda for next month and request to ask your HOA attorney's opinion?




The technical specifications of the pool and associated hardware (ie drains) is not the question; the issue with these specific R&Rs is access to the pool. When I asked the PM for the possibility of having the HOA's attorney review the R&Rs, the PM insisted they were in compliance. The PM said, "You have not been on the board long enough to understand these simple issues" and "As a board member you will need to be able to be supportive of managements guidance."

But when a PM repeatedly insists Davis Sterling (CA state law governing HOAs) supersedes federal fair housing laws and attempts to provide legal opinions, I have no further obligation to entertain whatever comments they may wish to add to the discussion.

And as I've said before, these are very minor examples of my concerns I would like to have a fair housing/real estate attorney review.

I would like to thank everyone who participated in this discussion. Perhaps at an appropriate time I ask everyone to join the virtual campfire and will share another tale from Happy Acres HOA.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:2288


06/12/2018 10:42 PM  
Posted By YoungP on 06/11/2018 10:08 PM
"Happy Acres HOA" isn't the name of the HOA in question; I've seen people use Happy Acres HOA as a generic reference to their HOA on this forum.

I see. Don't mind me
Please login to post a reply (click Member Login on the menu).
Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > Fair Housing/Real Estate Attorney referral in Southern CA



Get 2 months of free community web site hosting from Community123.com!



News Articles Provided by: Community Associations Network
News, articles and blogs about condos/HOA's

Only members have access to all features.
Click here to join HOATalk for Free! Members click here to login and access all features.







General Legal Notice:  The content of forum messages are from the posting member and have not been reviewed nor endorsed by HOATalk.com.  Messages posted by HOATalk or other members are for informational purposes only, are not legal or professional advice and do not constitute an attorney-client relationship.  Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.  HOATalk is not a licensed attorney, CPA, tax advisor, financial advisor or any other licensed professional.  HOATalk accepts ads from sponsors but does not verify sponsor qualifications nor endorse/guarantee any sponsor's product or service.
HindmanSanchez Legal Notice:  (For messages posted by HindmanSanchez) This message has been prepared by HindmanSanchez for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Members of HOATalk.com should not act on this information without seeking professional counsel. Please do not send us confidential information unless you speak with one of our attorneys and get authorization to send that information to us. If you wish to initiate possible representation, please contact an attorney in our firm. Our attorneys are licensed to practice law in the state of Colorado only.

Legal Notice For Messages Posted by Sponsoring Attorneys: This message has been prepared by the sponsoring attorney for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Readers of HOATalk.com should not act on this information without seeking professional counsel. Please do not send any sponsoring attorney confidential information unless you speak with the sponsoring attorney or an attorney from the sponsoring attorney’s firm and get authorization to send that information to them. If you wish to initiate possible representation, please contact an attorney in the firm of the sponsoring attorney. Sponsoring attorneys that post messages here are licensed to practice law in a specific state or states as indicated in their message signature or sponsor’s profile page. (NOTE: A ‘sponsoring attorney’ is an attorney that is a HOATalk.com official sponsor and is identified as such in the posted message or on our sponsor page.)

Copyright HOA Talk.com, A Service of Community123 LLC ( Homeowners Association Discussions )   Terms Of Use  Privacy Statement