HOA Discrimination and Harassment
What Can Homeowners Do if They are Facing Discrimination or Harassment?
A member who believes he or she has been harassed or discriminated against in access to housing based upon race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin, or disability can file a complaint under the Fair Housing Act (FHA). FHA Complaints can be filed with the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Or, a civil complaint can be filed in federal district court. A discrimination claim under Georgia’s Fair Housing Law can be filed with the Fair Housing Division of the Georgia Commission on Equal Opportunity.
A member who believes he or she has been harassed or discriminated against in access to public accommodations based upon a disability can file a complaint under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). ADA complaints can be filed with the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, or a civil complaint can be filed in district court.
The appropriate response to harassment will depend on the precise nature of the conduct. If the harassment rises to the level of criminal conduct, it should be reported to the local sheriff’s department. If the harassment relates to collection of debts by a debt collector, the harassed individual can bring a civil action under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) or report the harassment to the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.