Pandemics and the Fair Housing Act: Best Practices

Does COVID-19 qualify as a incapacity under the Good Housing Act? Can brokers check with prospects about their wellbeing? Some answers are not apparent and may have to have a court to make your mind up, so make few assumptions – but it’s essential to handle each consumer or vendor in exactly the identical way.

WASHINGTON – Wanting to know if COVID-19 qualifies as a incapacity under the Good Housing Act? Can you check with individuals to respond to issues about their wellbeing in advance of functioning with them?

COVID-19 made a selection of novel authorized troubles, together with how members ought to apply their truthful housing responsibilities in the course of the pandemic, according to the National Affiliation of Realtors® (NAR). Offered that COVID-19 may be disabling in the quick-phrase and extended-phrase – and even trigger loss of life – Realtors ponder no matter if COVID-19 is a “disability” entitled to defense under the Good Housing Act – a issue that goes over and above the risks it imposes by remaining really contagious.

Members have also questioned no matter if they may check with people today to total a COVID-19 screening questionnaire prior to partaking in in-human being functions.

NAR recommends the next:

Address COVID-19 as a “disability” for needs of the Good Housing Act

  • The concern of no matter if COVID-19 is a incapacity may finally be established by a court, but it’s recommended now to handle people today with COVID-19 as secured under the Good Housing Act.
  • Genuine estate specialists are not demanded to provide assistance or housing to someone who poses a immediate risk to the wellbeing and protection of other individuals, but they ought to contemplate no matter if a reasonable accommodation exists that would mitigate the risk.
  • Genuine estate specialists ought to conduct an individualized evaluation to ascertain no matter if a reasonable accommodation exists to mitigate the risk, such as virtual showings or requiring the unique to send out a proxy to look at the house.

You may use COVID-19 screening questionnaires – but check with all people today to total the questionnaire

  • Do not check with about other underlying wellbeing troubles that may improve an individual’s susceptibility to contracting COVID-19.
  • Inquire in composing or verbally, but be reliable with your tactic.
  • Though published documentation may verify helpful in the party of potential litigation to show that you routinely questioned the identical issues of all people today, collecting and sustaining such personal info in composing makes a chance of disclosure by a details breach or otherwise.
  • If you gather COVID-19 wellbeing info in composing, be guaranteed to consult with your state details privacy law(s) and greatest practices concerning the preservation and upkeep of details.

For far more guidance on navigating truthful housing troubles in the course of COVID-19, visit NAR’s coronavirus webpage.

Source: National Affiliation of Realtors® (NAR)

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