Did you know that adult only swims in homeowner associations can be discriminatory?
The Federal Fair Housing Act [the “Act”] prohibits policies that discriminate against any person in the terms, conditions, or privileges of sale or rental of a dwelling, or in the provision of services, or facilities in connection therewith, because of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, or national origin. “Familial status” under the Act, is defined as one or more individuals under the age of 18 being domiciled with a parent or any another person having legal custody. Hence, the issue concerns status and not age. As such, any policy that intentionally discriminates against families with children or a policy although neutral on its face, has a discriminatory impact, is prohibited. Courts have found that rules that limit children’s access to common amenities, based solely on the fact that the children are under 18, violate the Act. An adult only swim may be found to be facially discriminatory because it treats children and families with children differently and less favorably than households composed of adults only. Hence, a blanket adult only policy, based upon the desire to enjoy the pool with peace and tranquility, may be found to be discriminatory.