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April 2022 RMA – Fair Housing Month: What Does That Mean For You?

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Important Reminders

1) Realty Management Associates Inc has implemented a new policy change and starting immediately RMA will no longer allow subletting of residential rental properties to take place. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to your property manager.

2) If writing a check for your rent, please note that you must make that check out to Realty Management Associates or RMA.

3) If you pay rent to RMA using a check or certified funds, please note that you must put your name AND the property address on it.

4) Our monthly reminder – have you changed filters recently? Changing your furnace filters is a tenant responsibility and it helps ensure that your system runs smoothly and effectively. If you are unsure of how or when to do that, give your property manager a call and they can walk you through that process!

5) Sprinkler turn on will begin in April, please do not be alarmed if you see someone in your front yard.

6) Your foundation vents should have been closed for the winter. Spring is finally here so it’s time to open those up to allow for healthy air circulation.

7) If your gutters are full of leaves and debris, you may notice them overflowing when it rains, or sagging from weight, or growing plants. If you witness any of these tell-tale signs, please take a photo of the evidence and submit it to us through the property meld system on our website so that we can issue a work order.

If you have any maintenance concerns for your yard or your home, please CONTACT US! All maintenance concerns should be submitted through property meld, accessed on our website, under the Tenant Tab – Maintenance Request – Submit Work Order.  Also, there is a “Maintenance Request” link on the dark blue bar at the top.

Fair Housing – What Does Fair Housing Mean In Idaho?

**Realty Management Associates is not an attorney. The information provided in this article is provided at the opinion and experience of Realty Management Associates Inc. No legal action should be taken on fair housing laws/complaints without first speaking with an attorney that specializes in fair housing laws.**

Here in Idaho, we are fortunate to live in a state where government oversight and regulation of rentals and property management is very limited compared to many other states. Although Idaho and local municipalities do have some regulations, the majority of the regulations that Realty Management Associates Inc (RMA) has to adhere to comes from the federal government. These regulations are referred to as fair housing laws and come from The Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. 3601 et seq. RMA strongly believes in the necessity of fair housing laws to protect tenants from bad actors in the industry. The difficulty in the adherence to fair housing laws is not a willingness to follow the law, but sometimes to understand who all receives protections and what those protections include. Much of The Fair Housing Act does not always specify who is a protected class and what exactly those protections include. Much of the law is open to interpretation by Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the courts. The rules following fair housing laws revolves around “guidelines” provided by HUD. At times, these guidelines can be just as open to interpretation as The Fair Housing Act. The other guidelines provided to property managers and rental properties owners comes directly from the court system in result of rulings in fair housing court cases.

With-in the world of fair housing, the goal of RMA is to continually follow fair housing laws to avoid fair housing complaints for our office and our owners. The way RMA continually works to stay compliant with fair housing laws is continuing education. April is continually referred to as Fair Housing Month and most fair housing compliance education classes take place during the month of April. Some of the groups that provide fair housing education are NARPM (National Association of Residential Property Managers) which RMA is a member of, IAA (Idaho Apartment Association), HUD and many others. RMA will attend the annual fair housing meeting and education provided by the NARPM SW Idaho Chapter in April. In addition, RMA staff have been registered for the Fair Housing Conference that is put on by the IAA. Additional classes and education are being taken by RMA staff in person and through online sources throughout the year. The reason RMA puts so much time, money, and effort into this education, is to not only continue to expand the experience of property managers and other staff with-in our office, but to continue towards the goal of keeping the rentals we manage compliant with fair housing laws. Due to the lack of some specifics with-in The Fair Housing Act, and guidelines provided by HUD, RMA understands that property owners at times can be confused on why some requests for accommodations are accepted by RMA and where those requests become unreasonable. The education RMA pursues not only increases the knowledge of our office, but allows our office to help educate our owners and tenants as well. RMA is always available for questions from our owners on what actions are taken by RMA and what safeguards are in place against to protect rentals from attempts to abuse the protections provided in these laws. Please feel free to reach out to your property manager and our office any time for any further questions.

Thank you,

Spencer Henderson
Realty Management Associates Inc.