Well this question is easy – though in some instances HOAs may not be fully aware.

The two most important points are:

  •  All HOAs should review whether their current insurance policies include coverage for fair housing claims.
  •  All HOAs must ask themselves what constitutes a “reasonable” accommodation.

“For example, if an undue financial and administrative burden would be placed on the association or if the accommodation would fundamentally alter the nature of the association’s operations,  the request can be denied.

Whether an accommodation constitutes an undue financial or administrative burden will vary from case to case and will depend on a number of factors, such as the association’s financial resources, the benefits that the accommodation would provide, and the availability of alternative accommodations that may meet the person’s needs.

With reasonable modifications, there must be a close relationship, or nexus, between the requested modification and the disability. If there is no such nexus, the association may be able to refuse to allow the modification.

However, the nexus is often very fact specific and will vary in each case depending on the nature of the disability and the specific modification that has been requested.”

Courtesy of Rees Broom, Inc. – Attorneys at Law
Community Associations Institute (CAI)
2011 Newsletter (PDF)

also see FAQ #91