SHOULD ALL ANIMALS HAVE TO MEET THE SAME
REQUIREMENTS FOR ALLOWANCE IN THE HOME?
THE SCENARIO: Your community policy only allows one pet
that complies with written size, weight and breed restrictions.
A prospective resident indicates that they own a service animal
that provides necessary assistance for their disability. Their
child also has a pet that meets your policy requirements. The
service animal is a larger breed that your policy does not allow.
THE RISK: Denying a rental by not allowing a reasonable
accommodation to your pet policy.
CONSIDER THIS: The Fair Housing Act requires anyone
responsible for providing housing services to make exceptions to policy if necessary to allow persons with disabilities the opportunity to live where they wish if they meet
the other criteria for acceptance. A community is required
to accommodate a service animal if the disability requires,
unless there is evidence that the animal poses a threat to
the safety of others. A no-pet or one-pet limit is acceptable;
however, service animals under the law are not considered
pets, they are assistive and necessary to accommodate.
Article 10: Compliance with Laws and Regulations
“A Member shall at all times conduct business and personal activities with knowledge of and in compliance with all
applicable laws and regulations.”
C S Facing an ethical gray area? Use the “Is it fair, is it right?”test
Carl D. York, CPM Emeritus
WHERE DO I DRAW THE LINE BETWEEN DUE DILIGENCE
AND QUESTIONABLE CLIENT REQUESTS?
THE SCENARIO: You are instructed by a client to create
policy that would discourage some persons or groups that are
members of a protected class from applying to live at the community you are responsible for.
THE RISK: Violation of federal and local Fair Housing laws and
a potential complaint filed with the IREM Ethics Committee.
CONSIDER THIS: Just say “No.” You cannot be fair to
anyone if you are unfair to some. If you did so you would be
“steering” and may be in violation of the law as well as the
Code and several articles. You cannot provide due diligence
for a client if you violate the law.
Article 11: Equal Opportunity and
Article 12: Duty to Tenants and Others
Members must not take any action or make decisions that
would in any way discriminate against any protected class
stated in the Federal Fair Housing Act or state and local
law. They must provide equal concern for “the rights,
responsibilities and benefits of the tenants or residents and
others” and always ensure the “safety and health of those
persons lawfully on the premises.” Ethical conduct must
be the foundation and basis for all of our actions in dealing
with the public and our clients.
Whenever you are faced with making decisions regarding policy and dealing with all
clients, employees, vendors and the public, a good question to first ask yourself is: “Is it
fair and is it right?”
Below are two Fair Housing situations where a violation of the law and the IREM Code of
Professional Ethics could likely be avoided with knowledge of the Fair Housing laws and
answering the question above before making a decision.
DILEMMA 1 DILEMMA 2
Carl York, CPM Emeritus, CAM, CAPS ( firstname.lastname@example.org) is first vice president at Sentinel Real Estate Corp. in Fishers, Ind.
Disciplinary action was taken against the following members as a result of two hearings held by the IREM Ethics Hearing and Discipline Board
in October 2017. The ARM certification and membership for Jessica Cossey were terminated for violating the IREM Code of Professional Ethics,
Article 1 (Loyalty to Client, Firm, and/or Employer), Article 3 (Accounting and Reporting ) and Article 4 (Protection of Funds). Associate membership for Jeremy Combs was terminated for violating the IREM Code of Professional Ethics, IREM Member Pledge. Reapplication for membership
or other status may be made by either individual after a period of no less than five ( 5) years, with reapplication considered on its merits and
under such policies as may then be in effect.