Property owners and managers often assume they can avoid tenant discrimination lawsuits by simply avoiding discrimination behavior. Recent history has shown, however, that acting in good faith isn't always enough to prevent costly discrimination lawsuits. It's a lesson that many good-intentioned property owners and managers have unfortunately learned the hard way.
Tenant Discrimination Is On The Rise
The number of tenant discrimination claims has skyrocketed in recent years, in large part because tenants can now file discrimination complaints online with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Many of the complaints have at least some basis in fact, but a growing number are simply "nuisance" claims made by tenants with an axe to grind or who hope to make an easy buck by forcing a settlement. These nuisance lawsuits often leave property owners in a no-win situation: either fight the claim in court and spend a fortune on legal fees or settle out of course in order to make the lawsuit go away. Thankfully, there is another solution - tenant discrimination liability insurance.
Here's a quick example of how a potential tenant discrimination lawsuit can come out of the blue:
Paul the Resident purchased a unit in ABC Homeowners Association. He applied for additional parking permits at the complex, but was denied. Paul and his family often received parking citations issued by the property manager. Paul is Hispanic and spoke to other residents of Hispanic nationality, who also felt that they were denied additional parking permits and given parking citations when non-minorities offenses were ignored. Paul sued for $100,00 claiming discrimination...
How Tenant Discrimination Liability Insurance Can Help
Tenant discrimination liability insurance protects property owners and managers in the event of a discrimination , harassment or wrongful eviction lawsuit - none of which are covered under a typical general liability insurance policy. After the insured meets the deductible, tenant discrimination liability insurance covers legal costs and damages stemming from the following types of claims:
It is regrettable that law-abiding property owners are sometimes forced to defend themselves against nuisance tenant discrimination lawsuits, but until the regulatory landscape changes tenant discrimination liability insurance is a property owner's best defense against discrimination claims.
At Clarke & Sampson, we recognize that insurance is not your day-to-day business. That’s why we encourage you to obtain a basic Tenant Discrimination coverage. Give us a call at (703) 983-6601 and we'll help you with your tenant discrimination insurance.