In a perfect world, associations want to make all of their residents comfortable. To that end, it can be tempting when establishing a pool schedule to consider age- or gender-specific hours and/or considerations to reflect the demographics and comfort levels of residents. However, associations nationwide must be careful when adopting any age- or gender-specific hours or considerations or risk finding themselves in court.
The importance, and meaning, of the Marie Curto, et al. v. A Country Place Condominium Association, Inc., et. al. case cannot be ignored or overlooked. Ms. Curto and others, as plaintiffs, claimed that separate hours for men and women violated the United States Fair Housing Act (FHA). The association contended that a majority of the units were occupied by those practicing Orthodox Judaism, who strictly separate by gender during public swimming. The plaintiffs were assessed fines by their association each time they used the pool in discordance with the posted swim schedule and rules. However, the plaintiffs’ motion for damages was denied because, although the gender-specific swim times were separate, they were equal, and therefore not in violation of the FHA.
Attorney David J. Byrne from Ansell Grimm & Aaron, PC in Princeton, New Jersey explained what the FHA is and how it applies to association pool rules. [Read more…] about Do Your Pool Rules Violate the Fair Housing Act?