Fair Housing and Insanity

If no good deed goes unpunished, imagine what happens when a private citizen answers the government's call for help.  In this instance, the District of Columbia government sought help from a prominent D.C. property owner whose holdings include several apartment buildings.  The owner was asked to lease an apartment to a mentally disturbed individual who was having difficulty finding housing on his own.  Though the owner agreed to do so, only later did he learn that its new tenant, identified herein as "CL," was prone to violence.  Under both federal and District of Columbia law, the moment CL signed his lease, he was afforded all the protections against unlawful discrimination contained in the Federal Fair Housing Act, the District's Human Rights Act ("the D.C. Act"), and the District's rent control statute, which sharply limits the circumstances under which landlords may evict tenants.  Both the federal statute and the D.C. Act, which to some extent mimics the...(Read Full Article)

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