Fair Housing Quiz

Test Your Fair Housing Knowledge

 Debbi Conrad  |    April 13, 2020
Fair Housing Quiz

Choose the best answer to these questions. (Answer key below.)

1. There are exceptions in fair housing where discrimination may be legal. In what situation would discrimination be illegal? 

A. A family with ‚Äútoo many‚ÄĚ people may be turned away based on reasonable government regulations addressing health and safety, overcrowding, or capacity of utilities or infrastructure.¬†

B. Housing primarily intended and operated for older persons may, under certain conditions, be restricted to persons over a certain age, such as ‚Äú62 years and older‚ÄĚ housing and ‚Äú55 and over‚ÄĚ housing.¬†

C. Mortgage loans may be denied for properties in hazardous zones deemed to be credit risks based on racial and ethnic demographics. 

D. Housing may be denied to a person who poses a direct threat to the safety of others or whose tenancy would result in substantial physical damage to property, provided the risk can’t be sufficiently reduced by a reasonable accommodation.

2. In order for a housing facility or community to qualify as housing designed for persons who are 55 years of age or older, which of the following is not required?

A. All offers to purchase, leases, deeds, and written rules and regulations must restrict occupancy to persons who are ages 55 or older.

B. At least one person who is 55 years of age or older occupies at least 80 percent of the occupied units.

C. The project adheres to a policy that demonstrates an intent to operate as housing designed for persons who are ages 55 or older.

D. The owner must also be able to verify compliance with the 80-percent rule with proof such as reliable surveys and affidavits.

3. Which of the following is not a good tip to follow regarding the words and language used in advertising if one wants to avoid a charge of fair housing discrimination?

A. Do not use words describing the seller, buyer, landlord or tenant, such as a ‚ÄúJewish owner,‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúHmong home‚ÄĚ or ‚Äúperfect for a couple with children.‚Ä̬†

B. Do not use ‚Äúno wheelchairs,‚ÄĚ ‚Äúno service animals‚ÄĚ or ‚Äúno children.‚ÄĚ

C. Do not use ‚Äúcrippled,‚ÄĚ ‚Äúmentally ill,‚ÄĚ ‚Äúdeaf,‚ÄĚ ‚Äúretarded,‚ÄĚ ‚Äúblind,‚ÄĚ ‚Äúsingles‚ÄĚ or ‚Äúmature persons.‚Ä̬†

D. Do not use ‚Äúmaster bedroom,‚ÄĚ ‚Äúmother-in-law suite‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúbachelor apartment.‚ÄĚ

4. A real estate professional suggests an African American couple focus their search in a neighborhood that is predominantly African American. The agent discourages them from looking at a nearby neighborhood that is predominantly white. Which of the following answers describes this scenario?

A. This is illegal racial steering and is an intentional violation of fair housing laws.

B. Steering is the practice of directing potential buyers toward or away from a neighborhood or community based upon perceived protected characteristics.

C. Steering involves using a prohibited basis to treat the same requests for services or housing information differently, often involving the substitution of a real estate licensee’s judgment for that of the prospect. 

D. All of the above.

5. The tenant applicant has a child who uses a wheelchair, but the bathroom door is too narrow to permit the wheelchair to pass. The applicant asks the landlord for permission to widen the doorway. Which is not accurate?

A. It is unlawful for the landlord to refuse to permit the applicant to make the reasonable modification. 

B. The landlord can require the tenant to restore the narrow door width at the end of the tenancy.

C. The landlord may require the modification be made at the tenant’s expense.

D. The landlord may not increase the security deposit for persons with disabilities who make reasonable modifications.

6. HUD’s 2020 Assistance Animal Notice provides guidance for housing providers faced with a person who requests an assistance animal in a property where the animal would otherwise not be allowed. Which of the following is stated in the notice?

A. A licensed medical professional should have personal knowledge of the patient/client and their disability if they are providing documentation to confirm the person’s disability or the disability-related need for the animal. 

B. A housing provider must grant a reasonable accommodation that has not been requested when the person’s disability and the need for the animal are apparent.

C. If the disability and need for the animal have been established, the animal must be allowed even if it is a reptile, barnyard animal, monkey, kangaroo or other non-domesticated animal. 

D. According to the guidance, the different categories of animals include assistance animals, service dogs, trained support animals and therapeutic emotional support animals.

7. The Fair Housing Act prohibits illegal harassment. Which of the following is not an example of prohibited conduct? 

A. A landlord demands nude photos in return for approving a rental application.

B. A male landlord evicts a female tenant who was dealing drugs in the laundry room.

C. A landlord threatened to evict a Hispanic married couple unless the wife would have sex with him and threatened to report the couple to ICE if they reported him. 

D. Subjecting a person to pervasive racial epithets or defacing a person’s home with racially derogatory or threatening words or images.

8. After learning the buyers have children, a listing agent believes the home is too small and does not show the property. Which statement best describes this agent’s decision?

A. This is a case of possibly well intentioned, yet illegal steering based on family status.

B. Family status is a protected class so the agent must protect them at all costs.

C. This is age discrimination against the children.

D. This is acceptable because the children need a bigger house as they grow.

9. The boyfriend’s and the girlfriend’s names are on the lease. She wants him removed from the lease and out of the property while he wants to reconcile. Each tenant has called the police and been arrested for a domestic dispute. Can the landlord remove one of the two tenants from the lease? 

A. The landlord can give notice to evict the tenant posing an imminent threat of serious physical harm to the other tenant if the offending tenant remains on the premises.

B. An individual tenant or the landlord cannot unilaterally change the contract without the consent of the remaining parties, so the landlord can do nothing unless they all agree. 

C. The Wisconsin Safe Housing Act has procedures for either a landlord to terminate the tenancy of an offending tenant, and for a tenant to terminate his or her tenancy if there is an imminent threat, both dependent upon proper documentation and notice. 

D. The landlord can change the locks and re-rent the apartment.

10. When leasing commercial space, which of the following violates fair housing laws?

A. Refusing to rent space to a drug rehabilitation office.

B. Refusing to rent to a pastor looking for a location to hold church services.

C. Refusing to rent to a hair salon business because the business owner is gay.

D. None of the above.


How did you score?

Answer Key

  1. Answer C. Answer C is an example of illegal redlining such as in the 1930s when neighborhoods were marked ‚Äúhazardous‚ÄĚ in red ink on maps drawn by the federal Home Owners‚Äô Loan Corp. and loans in those areas were denied or extremely expensive.
  2. Answer A. Under both federal and Wisconsin law, housing for persons who are 55 years of age or older means at least one person who is 55 years of age or older occupies at least 80 percent of the occupied units, and the project adheres to a policy that demonstrates an intent to operate as housing designed for persons who are ages 55 or older. Absolute age restrictions are not required nor necessary.
  3. Answer D. It is permissible to use the terms ‚Äúmaster bedroom,‚ÄĚ ‚Äúmother-in-law suite‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúbachelor apartment,‚ÄĚ because they are commonly used architectural terms used to describe housing features.
  4. Answer D. Licensees must provide equal professional services to everyone based on the buyer’s objective criteria for a home.
  5. Answer B. The landlord may not, in usual circumstances, condition the modification on the applicant paying for the doorway to be narrowed at the end of the lease because a wider doorway will not interfere with the landlord’s or the next tenant’s use and enjoyment of the premises. Restoration in this situation is not reasonable.
  6. Answer A. In HUD’s experience, there is no personal knowledge when the documentation comes from the internet to establish an individual has a non-observable disability or disability-related need for an assistance animal.
  7. Answer B. Severe or pervasive offensive remarks or hostile behavior because of a person’s race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status or national origin are illegal under the Fair Housing Act. A landlord may terminate the tenancy of a tenant who engages in any drug-related criminal activity on or near the premises.
  8. Answer C. When there is imminent threat of serious physical harm to the tenant or a tenant’s child, and the tenant provides the landlord with proper notice and documentation, the tenant may terminate the tenancy. The landlord may terminate the tenancy of an offending tenant who commits one or more acts, including verbal threats, that cause another tenant or a tenant’s child to face an imminent threat of serious physical harm and who is the named offender in any injunction or other court documentation.
  9. Answer C. Under fair housing laws, age discrimination applies only with respect to persons at least 18 years of age. Agents should never substitute their judgment for that of the prospective buyers and risk a complaint for illegal steering.
  10. Answer D. Fair housing law does not apply to commercial property.
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