GUILTY... until you prove you are innocent! Fair Housing Again!

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Turn-Key Properties LLC, Missouri and Kansas Real Estate

Welcome to my personal HELL! Yet another complaint by yet another whiner seeking to get something for nothing! The scam that is Fair Housing raises its ugly head again.

You must rent to this CONVICTED, REPEAT FELON!

I wrote on this subject before (Fair housing truths and myths). The reality of it is my family looks like a picnic at the United Nations! I've got Asian grandchildren, black-Canadian cousins, black great-nephews, heck I'm not even completely sure what my heritage is.

I explained in the linked post how this whole system works. It is all predicated on the notion that if accused you will pay them to leave you alone. Where I come from we call that EXTORTION!

Most of us are accustomed to the notion that anything from government is some form of extortion, but this one is particularly heinous. Since not admitting you are a racist, sexist bigoted, homophobic, ass will cost you tens of thousands. It is much easier to just agree to apologize and take some sensitivity training, or in our case be forced to allow the repeat felon to move into one of our rental units.

So which one of my clients gets the prize? Which one of my clients investment property will I move this career criminal into? In over thirty years since his criminal record started the only time he was not getting arrested was when he was incarcerated. And once I do rent to him under threat of extortion, does that mean that I now have to rent to all convicted felons?

Our friend, "the investigator" understood why we may not have wanted to put him in a building with several older single females and some disabled people, but perhaps we should have offered him a house instead!

So let me get this straight! You the "investigator" want me to STEER applicants to specific properties because they may pose a threat to people in another property????

Steering Defined: It shall be unlawful, because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin, to restrict or attempt to restrict the choices of a person by word or conduct in connection with seeking, negotiating for, buying or renting a dwelling so as to perpetuate, or tend to perpetuate, segregated housing patterns, or to discourage or obstruct choices in a community, neighborhood or development. (24 CFR Part 14, Section 100.70(a))

CATCH 22: If I tell the criminal that he can't live in that building, but he can live in this other one; then I am breaking the law! If I tell him he can't rent from me because he is a criminal, then he files a lawsuit claiming discrimination. If I move him in with his 30+ year criminal history and he attacks, robs and murders his neighbors, than I will be in court for that!

The Good News! The "investigator" told us that Kansas City, MO is considering making it illegal to discriminate against criminals! Stay tuned I just learned about that. I will ask my friend Darla to take a look at that plan.

Here is my beautiful great nephew!

 My family



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Missouri Jackson County Kansas City
Politics And Real Estate
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rental property
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renting to criminals

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John Lavin
Re/Max Ultimate Realty Inc. Brokerage - Toronto, ON
Realtor - Mississauga - Toronto Real Estate

looks like the inmates are running the asylum

May 02, 2009 01:13 AM #14
Mark Watterson
Salt Lake City, UT
Utah Real Estate

I don't like working with rental properties for many reasons.  It's just not my bag.....

Then many think a lawsuit is an easy dollar..... 

May 02, 2009 01:37 AM #15
Jen Anderson
Exit By the Bay Realty - Chesapeake Beach, MD

Ben, what a nightmare.  btw, your nephew is adorable!

May 02, 2009 01:47 AM #16
Joetta Fort
The DiGiorgio Group - Arvada, CO
Independent Broker, Homes Denver to Boulder

I agree, the grand-nephew Is beautiful!  I have a question - as a property manager, I'm sure you have a pre-written statement of what parameters you'll use to determine who you'll rent to, right?  

May 02, 2009 04:42 AM #17
Chris Deschacht

I hate to hear stories like that. My wife and I are Property Managers in Bullhead City AZ. We have a team of 4 property managers. We have heard these horror stories but (so far) no actions against us...

Here is something that let's me sleep easier at night...We recently partnered with TransUnion to do our credit, background and eviction checks. In doing so, we were given a document with scenarios to help us set up our accept/deny policy. Since "Criminals" are not a protected class (yet) the system (based on our rules) automatically denies criminals...

As a final thought...a recent applicant was rejected based on credit and eviction records. Their (minor 9 yrs old or so) daughter is supposedly on SSI. After I told her she did not qualify based on our policies and minimum requirements she flat out told me that I was discriminating against a person with a handicap. The reason she receives SSI is the following: learning disability and ADHD. I explained that this was not a reason for the adverse action since I was #1 not aware of this #2 the minor would not be part of our decision making since she is not of legal age to even be considered on an application.

Any feedback on the above is appreciated...

Chris D.

May 02, 2009 05:06 AM #18
Martin Kalisker
Greater Boston Association of REALTORS - Boston, MA
Professional Standards & Legal Assistant

since when are convicted felons a protected class?  I think someone is pulling your chain.  You might want to talk to your state representative and the local board of realtors for assistance.  Something doesn't make sense here...

May 02, 2009 05:07 AM #19
Ben Edsall
Turn-Key Properties LLC, Missouri and Kansas Real Estate - Kansas City, MO

Well Dave and the others, here is a bit more information on what I know. This is only the beginning and it will be sweeping the country soon.

We are in strange and perilous times, folks. The old America of common sense has been replaced by the new America of change and feel good politics.

Read my other blog, click on the ads too, times are tough in real estate!

Escape from Kansas City

May 02, 2009 05:21 AM #20
Ben Edsall
Turn-Key Properties LLC, Missouri and Kansas Real Estate - Kansas City, MO

Chris Deschacht,

There are many new rulings out, one of them is that you can not use the source of income as a reason to decline an application. If the SSI, Disability, Tanif and food stamps meet your income requirements. You better rent to them!


May 02, 2009 05:25 AM #21
Dan Hayden
Coldwell Banker Preferred - Media, PA

i was going to post something but then i thought the "fair" housing people would find that reason enough to test me.

We did have a land lord make the news here recently. He had a duplex he had talked to a perspective tenant about. the tenant in the other part of the house said they would move out if he rented to (insert protected class here). The land lord decided not to rent to the perspective tenant because of this threat. The reason it made he news was the landlord left this information on the perspective tenants answering machine. He deserves what he gets.

I coulndn't find the story on the local TV stations web site but if i find it i'll post the link.

May 02, 2009 06:15 AM #22
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

Criminals need to live somewhere, but we should be able to use discretion.  Could we get sued when the criminal now commits a crime where we helped him settle down?

I had one buyer go on about everyone she hated (you name it she hated them).  She was also looking for a bargain.  In one marginal, but not bad neighborhood, she commented that is looked, "too working class."  I explained to her I would be more concerned with the "non-working class."  Meaning what's wrong with people that have jobs.  Her and I parted company.

I am often asked questions about the kind of people in different neighborhoods (and this is not primarily Caucasians).  I am careful in how I answer.  People who ask the questions are not usually racist, they are worried about how they will be accepted.  I had a mixed marriage couple worried about if they and their kids would be made to feel outcast.  I told them most people were concerned with the individual character not how people looked (and I believe that is true.)  People of all races tend to like mixed race neighborhoods.  This may not be true everywhere, but it is around here.

These are uncomfortable things to talk about.  Sometimes it is hard to talk about them because if we say the wrong thing someone might throw out the "R" word at us.

May 02, 2009 07:50 AM #23
Carol Simonson
ReMax - Westlake Village, CA

I don't know exactly what the convicted felon did...but I'd rather rent to the likes of the criminal than that this nasty investigative extortionist! 


But then again...I may be wrong about that...the criminal apparently served his time, now this creepy investigator needs to do a little of their own time...preferably behind bars!   


Carol...just offering a little bit of Old Grandma's Fair Housing Truth!

May 02, 2009 08:14 AM #24
Robin Turner
Happy House Real Estate - Cocoa Beach, FL
Robin Turner

More Out-Of Control government at it's worst....

May 02, 2009 09:42 AM #25
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA

Been there, had that done to need to stand your ground.  I know it's hard especially when you know what is coming down the pike; however, the only way to make these people go away is to stand up to them from the get go.....

Fair housing organizations in OR extorted $$$ from the OR newspaper association members over something that was not a fair housing violation and when it came to HUD's attention, it was stopped; however, 20+ newspapers had ponied up $1500 to $3000 each before that happened....

May 02, 2009 12:35 PM #26
DeAndrea "Dee Dee" Jones
Home Buyers Marketing II, Inc. - Manassas Park, VA
The NorthernVARealEstateLady & DMVRealEstateChick

Thats a horror of a catch 22, keep the updates coming, it is like a soap opera.

May 03, 2009 12:31 PM #27
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Real Estate

Gosh I wish I could comment but I just can't.  Either way it's not a good situation.

May 03, 2009 01:05 PM #28
Kelsey Barklow
Hurd Realty - Johnson City, TN

That's terrible for you guys. Is it discrimination to advise all the nearby tenants about their new neighbor?

May 03, 2009 01:09 PM #29
Kit McLean

I had a friend that had something very similar happen to her in MAss.... She stood her ground on principle.... and the "Felon" and alleged rapist won 38K for being insulted. Be careful

May 03, 2009 01:52 PM #30
Kerry Jenkins
Prime Properties - Crestline, CA

And that is why I won't manage rentals, or even want to work on that side of this business.  i work in a busy office with a rental department and we see all sorts of crazy stuff...I wouldn't want that job in a million years. But then again, they say the same thing to me!

May 05, 2009 05:59 AM #31
Robert Machado
HomePointe Property Management, CRMC - Sacramento, CA
CPM MPM - Property Manager and Property Management

Where to convicted felons live if everyone denies them housing?  That is a Catch 22 from the other side. Sticking to rental references, credit, and income may be enough to keep your building reasonably protected.  There is no easy answer on this one.

May 05, 2009 04:59 PM #32
Leslie Prest
Leslie Prest, Prest Realty, Sales and Rentals in Payson, AZ - Payson, AZ
Owner, Assoc. Broker, Prest Realty, Payson,

We sometimes turn down people due to their legal history- it depends on what, how many problems, and how recent. It is NOT a fair housing issue, as people with legal problems are NOT a protected class. Stand your ground and quote the protected classes.

May 28, 2009 06:35 AM #33
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