A family of eight thought they found the perfect town home in a Florida community. However, the large family was in for a rude awakening as they were given an eviction notice for being too big.
In 2006, a couple took their six children out to the pool of the town home community. One of the residents of the complex reportedly asked the family if all the kids were theirs. Upon receiving an affirmative response, told the couple that it would be a problem, reports Tampa Bay Online.
Apparently, the HOA had a rule against having more than six residents, and the large family was given 30 days to comply or face eviction.
It's not clear exactly how a family of eight would have complied with the HOA's demands short of sending away two of their children. So the family filed a housing discrimination complaint with the federal department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Six years later, HUD agreed with the family and found that the HOA discriminated against them for having too large of a family. The federal agency said that the HOA's attempts to evict the large family ran against the U.S. Fair Housing Act which makes it illegal to discriminate against renters on the basis of age, sex, color, disability, religion, national origin, or family status.
Despite HUD's ruling, the HOA reportedly continues to enforce its policy of no more than six residents, reports Tampa Bay Online. They may have good reason for doing so.
Looking at the federal Fair Housing Act, it's not entirely clear how large families are protected in the law. The law specifies that someone cannot be discriminated against family status, but the law does not say anything about family size.
So if the HOA does not agree with HUD's interpretation of the law that a large family could not be targeted for eviction, the HOA could take it up with a court. It should be noted that in the intervening six years since the family of eight filed their discrimination complaint, the family has long since moved out and the parents have split up, reports Tampa Bay Online.