Understanding The Fair Housing Act Principles: How To Avoid Penalties For The Violations

The Fair Housing Act is the identify given to Title 8 of the Civil Rights Act, which was signed into regulation in 1968. Prior to its passage, any discrimination complaints regarding housing have been dealt with case by case in court docket. The FHA has been amended a number of instances since 1968. State and native legal guidelines can increase on the protections, however they’ll’t scale back or detract from them.

Understanding the ideas of the FHA may also help landlords to keep away from penalties for violations. 

The foundation of the Fair Housing Act

The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination by direct suppliers of housing based mostly on: race or shade; faith; intercourse; nationwide origin, familial standing or incapacity. Discrimination means treating somebody in another way as a result of they’re a part of certainly one of these protected lessons. All individuals ought to be granted the identical alternatives in the case of selecting housing. 

The Fair Housing Act requires all states to forestall discrimination towards protected lessons, however this doesn’t cease states from including extra protected lessons to the record. New York and California are simply two of quite a few states whose honest housing legal guidelines add to the record of protected lessons. 

An workplace with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) administers and enforces the Act. When a grievance is filed, HUD personnel will interview the tenant and the owner and customarily examine the allegations to find out whether or not a violation has occurred. When a grievance is filed, a landlord can present written info related to the investigation. 

Avoiding penalties for violations

Landlords must be conscious that they might be answerable for insurance policies and practices that, even unintentionally, have an effect on individuals within the protected lessons. They must analysis state and native anti-discrimination legal guidelines to verify they’re compliant.  

The penalties for discrimination fluctuate based mostly on whether or not a case is processed by way of the HUD, the court docket, or elsewhere and may be within the type of fines and punitive damages. There are varied methods through which claims may be filed towards landlords, together with investigations by watchdog teams or discoveries made by HUD testers posing as renters.  

Property administration providers like Evernest, APM and Keyrenter may also help you fulfill the necessities of the Fair Housing Act and all different legal guidelines. Making a property management investment in Denver might assist landlords to adjust to federal, state and native legal guidelines. 

Avoid any type of discrimination based mostly on shade or race

The fundamental goal of the Fair Housing Act is to ban racial discrimination when renting or promoting homes. Today, racial discrimination might not be as overt because it as soon as was, but it surely nonetheless exists. The Department of Justice nonetheless offers with many instances involving race discrimination claims. The Fair Housing Testing Program additionally tries to uncover this kind of discrimination and maintain perpetrators accountable. An act of race discrimination could also be giving false details about availability or setting totally different phrases, circumstances or privileges for rental. 

Avoid discrimination based mostly on faith

“Religion,” below the FHA, consists of the follow and non-practice of faith, akin to atheism. It additionally consists of religions exterior of the mainstream. Advertising for tenants mustn’t embrace any specific references to faith. Other examples of non secular discrimination are harassing tenants due to their costume or spiritual practices or giving rental incentives to candidates of sure religions. 

Avoid discrimination based mostly on origin

Landlords should keep away from discrimination based mostly on the nation of somebody’s delivery or the place his or her ancestors originated. Many areas within the nation have skilled an rising stage of variety of origin teams. Hispanics are a fast-growing population group, however there are additionally immigrants from Asia, Eastern Europe and the previous Soviet Union. 

Avoid discriminating towards households with kids

The Act prohibits outright denial of housing to households with kids. It additionally prevents landlords from imposing particular necessities or circumstances on tenants with kids. For instance, they might not find households with kids in any single portion of a posh. The greatest follow for landlords is to use affordable restrictive occupancy requirements based mostly on security wants and native legal guidelines. 

Avoid discrimination based mostly on incapacity

The FHA defines individuals with a incapacity as people with psychological or bodily impairments that considerably restrict a number of main life actions. It is against the law for landlords to refuse to make affordable lodging in guidelines or providers if mandatory for a disabled particular person to make use of the housing. A landlord should allow a disabled person the best to make affordable lodging to the dwelling.


It is necessary for all landlords to keep away from discrimination towards sure protected teams below the FHA when deciding on tenants. More usually than not, landlords don’t even understand that sure actions they take could also be discriminatory. Hopefully, the above info makes you extra conscious of what housing discrimination consists of, who’s protected towards it, and easy methods to display candidates in a authorized and moral means.