With the calendar turning to the new year next week, I thought this might be a good time to take a minute and review one common thread I have seen in many cases this year: what can really make a difference for professional apartment management teams is fair housing training. Training is always good. For those of us in the housing arena, dealing with the various federal and state fair housing regulations is a part of our doing business. And management must get it right. Saying to a fair housing investigator "well, we just did not know the law" WILL NOT be a defense which works. We are presumed to know (and follow) the law. The fact remains that training really helps avoid common mistakes that I see time and time again.
Indeed, in addition to helping avoid fair housing cases altogether, training can help defend a case should one be filed. Good fair housing training helps, among other things, making sure that management appropriately annotates the file. With a properly detailed resident file, it makes my job of defending cases much simplier.
Now, where do you go to get fair housing training? Well, there are any number of federal and state agencies who do training. As well as private fair housing tester and resident entities. Or you could simply check with a lawyer like me. Over the past month, for example, I have done three fair housing training seminars. And I can also include respect in the workplace if that would be useful. Will training cost money? Yes, a little. I am reminded of the old Fram oil filter commercials. Remember the line: "you can pay me [a little] now, or pay me [a lot] later." Fair housing training is sort of like that.
Just A Thought.