April is National Fair Housing Month. This is a good time for anyone to take minute and review what it means both federally and state.
The National Fair Housing Act is a federal law that prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of housing based on certain protected classes. The law applies to most housing providers, including landlords, property managers, real estate agents, and mortgage lenders.
The protected classes under the federal Fair Housing Act are:
- National origin
- Familial status (including children under the age of 18 and pregnant women)
This means that it is illegal to discriminate against someone based on their membership in one of these protected classes. This includes discrimination in advertising, showing, renting, or denying housing, setting different terms, conditions or privileges for the sale or rental of a dwelling, and in the provision of brokerage services or lending services related to the sale or rental of a dwelling.
Discrimination may be overt or subtle, intentional or unintentional. Fair Housing laws apply not only to the sale or rental of housing, but also to the terms and conditions of the sale or rental, such as setting different security deposit requirements or application fees. Check out our other blogs with more detail about California protected classes.
It’s important for housing providers to understand and comply with fair housing laws to avoid legal repercussions. Tenants also have the right to report discrimination to the appropriate agencies.
Bottom line. Treat ALL people the same. If you have an interaction with someone and are unsure what to do, it is OK to say I DON’T KNOW! And please call and attorney or property manager for help. We are highly and routinely trained to insure and protect homeowners.