Insider's Pop Quiz!

Question: One of your residents frequently complains about secondhand smoke coming from a neighbor's unit. She claims it aggravates her lung condition. Your site doesn't ban smoking in common areas or in individual units. But if you don't address the resident's complaint, could your site be liable for a fair housing violation for the resident's exposure to secondhand smoke?

Answer: Yes. Even though federal fair housing law doesn't require sites to restrict smoking, a site could trigger a fair housing claim for failing to address complaints about secondhand smoke from a resident with a disability. If the resident meets the criteria to qualify as an individual with a disability under the Fair Housing Act, then the site must consider requests for reasonable modifications or reasonable accommodations to enable the resident to fully use and enjoy the dwelling.