September 15, 2010

Free Fair Housing Training Available for Seattle Area Condominium Associations

Fair housing laws require Washington condominium and homeowners associations to discuss requests for disability accommodations with owners and to make reasonable accommodations once disabilities have been established. If an association fails to do so, a disabled owner can file charges of discrimination against the association and its board members. It is therefore important for boards to be familiar with their legal obligations in this area.

The King County Office of Civil Rights offers six free three-hour training sessions to educate condominium associations about fair housing laws each year. The next two dates that the county will present its fair housing basics workshop and advanced seminar are October 27 and December 8. These training sessions take place at the Jackson Federal Building, which is located at 915 Second Avenue in Seattle. Preregistration is required, and this can be accomplished by calling (206) 296-7592. The Office's webpage is a useful source of information about fair housing and related topics.

A major benefit of learning more about fair housing issues is a greater sense of caution given the risks involved. Community association boards should strongly consider consulting with an attorney before denying an owner's request for a disability accommodation.