Feds hit Las Vegas HOA with age discrimination complaint
A Las Vegas homeowners association faces a charge of age discrimination after an investigation thatís been under way for more than two years.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today said it filed an administrative complaint against the Lakeside Village Homeowners Association, aka Brookview/Lakeside, 7600 W. Charleston Blvd., claiming it discriminates against families with children.
The federal agency said the case dates to 2003, when Roberta Jean Leong bought a home in the community at a time when its policies prohibited discrimination against families with children.
In 2005, the HOA voted to convert Lakeside into a community for people age 55 and older, excluding families with children, the complaint says.
When Leong tried to sell her home in 2007, the 39-year-old buyer backed out upon learning of the age rule, the complaint says.
"Complainant could not sell her property because of respondentsí illegal restrictions against families with children" and had to turn away renters with children, the complaint says.
Lakeside's age restrictions may also affect the ability of other homeowners to sell their homes because the policy is shown on multiple listing services, HUD said.
HUD said that while age-restricted
communities are legal, in this case Lakeside Village HOA and Castle Management &
Consulting LLC, its management company, did not take the proper steps required
to make the community's age restriction legal...
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from column one...
The law says that for a community to be age-restricted, 80 percent of the units must be occupied by at least one person age 55 or older; that the managers of the housing publish and adhere to policies that demonstrate an intent to be housing for older persons; and that the managers verify occupancy, HUD said.
"Limiting housing to adults over age 55 is permitted by the Fair Housing Act only in specific circumstances. HUD insists that homeowner associations fulfill their obligations in order to qualify for an exemption," John TrasviŮa, assistant secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, said in a statement. "HUD is committed to assist families or unit owners harmed when associations fail to follow the law."
A message for comment on the complaint was left with Castle Management.
The complaint will be heard by an administrative law judge, HUD said. It seeks an unspecified civil penalty and an injunction blocking further alleged violations of the Fair Housing Act.
In April 2009, HUD sued the HOA and Castle Management in federal court in Las Vegas to enforce a subpoena demanding information in an investigation "involving unfair housing practices, falsely publishing property as a designated senior complex and failing to meet the statutory requirements of housing for older persons."
The subpoena demanded information such as minutes of HOA board of directors meetings for four years through June 2007, documents used for the 2005 vote; documents provided to potential renters, buyers and agents; and a list of all occupants in November 2005 and in June 2007 with their date of occupancy and date of birth.
That lawsuit was dropped after the subpoena issue was resolved. VegasInc.com
Reference layout of Lakeside Village/Brookview Estates