Illinois Fair Housing Attorneys

Fair Housing Compliance

Illinois Fair Housing Act Defense and Compliance

The fair housing attorneys at Hirzel Law, PLC represent condominium associations, co-operatives, homeowners associations, commercial landlords, property managers, and university housing providers with respect to compliance with the Federal Fair Housing Act and the Illinois Human Rights Act.  The requirements contained in the Federal Fair Housing Act  and the Illinois Human Rights Act are extremely nuanced and complex. The Federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination against a unit owner, owner or tenant based upon age, disability, familial status, marital status, religion, sex, race, color, or national origin. The Illinois Human Rights Act’s protections extend further and prohibit discrimiation based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, order of protection status, marital status, physical or mental disability, military status, sexual orientation, pregnancy, or unfavorable discharge from military service.

When Is a Disabled Unit Owner Entitled to an Accommodation?

As a general rule, disability related modifications requests are governed under federal laws, specifically the Federal Fair Housing Act, as well as state law. The Federal Fair Housing Act requires a condominium or homeowners association to provide a reasonable accommodation to a disabled person to modify a unit or the common elements if such modifications is necessary to afford that person full enjoyment of the premises, subject to certain exceptions.

Additionally, the Illinois Human Rights Act states that it is a civil rights violation to: (1) refuse to permit, and the expense of the person with a disability, reasonable modifications of a premises; (2) refuse to make reasonable accomodations in rules, polices, practices or services that do not allow a person with a disability equal opportunity to use or enjoy or a dwelling; or (3) in the case of multi-family buildings to fail or design and construct them in a manner that creates an obstacle for those with disabilities.

What Are The Defenses to a Fair Housing Claim?

Owners in condominium or homeowners associations may file administrative discrimination claims with the Illinois Department of Human Rights or the Department of Housing and Urban Development. While some claims are not valid, all claims must be responded to in a timely manner. Similarly, some owners bypass the administrative process and file a housing discrimination claim in either state or federal court. If your homeowners or condo association is facing legal action, it should contact an experienced HOA lawyer, such as those with Hirzel Law, to ensure that the condominium or HOA’s interests are protected.  Common defenses to Fair Housing Claims are as follows:

  • The claim was brought outside the applicable statute of limitations.
  • The Plaintiff does not qualify as somebody that is disabled under the Fair Housing Act.
  • The requested accommodation is not reasonable.
  • The requested accommodation is not necessary for the owner to enjoy the condominium.
  • The requested accommodation would constitute an undue burden on the community association.

Contact Hirzel Law Today!

The Hirzel Law attorneys are experienced in the Federal Fair Housing Act and the Illinois Human Rights Act and can help condominium and homeowners associations avoid potential claims. When faced with an issue that could trigger a claim for discrimination based any of the aforementioned protected classes, a condominium or homeowners association should contact an HOA attorney immediately. Contact Hirzel Law online or call 312-552-7669 (Chicago) to learn how our team of experienced Illinois lawyers can help you with Fair Housing defense

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