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Pool Concerns in Arizona

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Pool Concerns in Arizona

Postby Tommygman » Mon Oct 14, 2002 4:25 pm

My wife and I found the perfect place to live, a wonderful guest house on large property with a main house up front. The owner lives in the main house and wants to rent his smaller guest house out back. We filled out an application yesterday. We both have solid work histories, sufficient income, perfect credit with FICO scores in the 700's, and excellent references. We assumed we would be accepted, but the owner/landlord called us back today and has decided not to rent to us because he has a pool on the property and my wife and I have two small children ages 5 and 1 year old. The pool is fenced in with a standard 6 foot rod iron pool fence. Although my wife and I are concerned about our childen's safety, we have lived at other properties with pool's and know that you must always watch your children around water. My question is, can a landlord discriminate based on your familial status simply out of concern for my childen and the potential liabilty the pool may bring? I am pretty sure this is against the law. The place is still vacant, and we still very much would like to live there. What shold we do?
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Postby Iddabiddy35 » Fri Sep 15, 2006 4:32 pm

I believe there are insurance issues here as well as huge liability issues should either of your children (or even you and your wife) fall into the pool by accident or whatever. Since this is a guest house on private property I believe the owner/LL can say 'no' to you due to the safety issues of the pool. There is no life guard on duty, etc.. Was use of the pool part of the rental deal? Were children allowed? Pets allowed? Was parking space provided? Just what exactly was offered for rent?
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Postby Aubergine » Fri Sep 15, 2006 10:15 pm

The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination on the basis of "familial status," which is defined in 42 USC 3602 (k) as follows:

“Familial status” means one or more individuals (who have not attained the age of 18 years) being domiciled with—
(1) a parent or another person having legal custody of such individual or individuals; or
(2) the designee of such parent or other person having such custody, with the written permission of such parent or other person.
The protections afforded against discrimination on the basis of familial status shall apply to any person who is pregnant or is in the process of securing legal custody of any individual who has not attained the age of 18 years.
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Postby Iddabiddy35 » Wed Sep 20, 2006 3:28 pm

I never knew about the 'familia status law' - thanks Aubergine!
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One exception

Postby cestmoi123 » Thu Sep 21, 2006 1:09 pm

If the occupants of the main house are all 62 or over, then the whole property probably qualifies as housing for older persons, in which case they can refuse to rent to a family with kids. Pretty narrow exception, though.
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Postby Aubergine » Fri Sep 22, 2006 2:13 pm

I doubt that a single property could qualify under the "62 or over housing" exemption provision of the FHA unless it was subject to some sort of covenant or contractual restriction limiting occupancy to persons 62 or older. Also, for the dwelling to qualify as "62 or over housing," no new occupant under 62 could have moved in since September 13, 1988. See 24 CFR 100.303.
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Postby cestmoi123 » Fri Sep 22, 2006 4:40 pm

Probably right on the older housing, but I think there's another exemption (thanks for the link, I found it there) for owner-occupied dwellings with <=4 families:

24 CFR 100.10

(c) Nothing in this part, other than the prohibitions against discriminatory advertising, applies to:

...

(2) Rooms or units in dwellings containing living quarters occupied or intended to be occupied by no more than four families living independently of each other, if the owner actually maintains and occupies one of such living quarters as his or her residence.
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Postby Aubergine » Fri Sep 22, 2006 7:17 pm

But this is one of two "dwellings" on one lot; the owner's "living quarters" are located in another "dwelling" on the same lot. The owner does not occupy other "living quarters" in the same "dwelling" as the prospective tenants' unit. I may be wrong but that seems to fall outside the exemption.
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