The Fair Housing Act was established in 1968 and has had a couple of amendments along the way to accommodate needed changes. Currently, fair housing laws protect a specific list of citizens and was established to ensure that everyone has the right to sell, rent, or buy adequate housing without discrimination.The law states that a person cannot be denied housing based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, or familial status. The Federal Fair Housing Act started with four protected classes and now contains seven. As our community continues to wrestle with the law and to create new policies, we might expect to see changes in the future. So, even though changes come slowly, there are possible additional changes in the future. Currently, the law does not specifically include sexual orientation or gender identity.
What does this mean for Arlington property managers?
Some states have adopted state fair housing laws that include LGBT citizens. Texas hasn’t made these specific changes. But, it is still very important when leasing a property to make sure you are not crossing lines to discriminating behavior. Some landlords make discrimination mistakes with theses types of situations:
- Advertising— An example would be if you advertise that a specific unit would be perfect for a certain type of person. Always be aware of how your advertising is worded.
- Availability— It is unlawful to be dishonest about the availability of a rental unit. You can’t tell someone a unit isn’t available anymore when it really is.
- Application— Tenant applications need to avoid questions that are seen as discriminating.
- Screening— It is important to screen lease applications, but you need to know what you can legally screen your applicants for. Credit and rental history are acceptable. Screening for gender or sexual orientation is not appropriate.
What Makes Good Arlington Property Management Practices?
Specialized Specialized Property Management is the leading property management company that knows and understands the laws. With our knowledgeable in-house legal team, advertising, screening, and leasing processes are professionally and fairly conducted. We carefully follow all fair housing requirements so investors avoid lawsuits and fines.
Our world is always evolving. And the laws change with that evolution. As an Arlington property management company, we proactively keep you informed of any changes so that your investment property is compliant with federal and local laws and regulations. For more information about Fair Housing and Texas housing laws, come to the leaders in Arlington property management. Find us at (www.specializedrpm.com)