How to Avoid the 5 Most Common Violations Regarding Fair Housing

fair housing

1. National Origin, Race or Color

While it is unacceptable to use language that describes the housing, neighborhood or neighbors in a racial way or using ethnic terms, it is acceptable to use words such as “master bedroom”, “desirable neighborhood” and “exceptional find” in your advertising.

These terms are factual without being influential as to describing the people in the area and will not warrant the filing of a claim from a potential tenant or buyer.

2. Sex

You can use terms that describe the property such as “master suite”, “mother-in-law” suite and “bachelor apartment” when creating your advertising.

However, it would not be okay to use terms like “straight couple” or “men only.” Choosing verbiage that clearly discriminates against a particular gender or those with a specific sexual orientation is not acceptable.

3. Religion

It is perfectly acceptable to use description words about the property that are religious in nature such as “facility has a chapel” or “property has a cafeteria with kosher food available”.

You cannot, however, state that a particular religion is excluded … terms like “No Muslims” or “Catholics preferred” in your advertising.

4. Familial Status

Describing the property such as a “two bedroom”, “family room”, “nursery” or anything else that describes the property itself is acceptable.

Outright statements that prohibit unmarried individuals or individuals that are married to same sex partners are prohibited. It is also important that you are careful when discussing ages that are acceptable in the building unless it is designated as such a way that it is for seniors only.

5. Handicap

You can use descriptions of the property such as “second floor walk up”, “walk-in closets”, “close to hiking and jogging trails”, and “easy walk to public transportation” without violating the Act.

You cannot use terms such as “no wheel chairs” or terms that directly discriminate against an individual.

Read the full article here http://www.biggerpockets.com/renewsblog/2014/06/27/completed-fair-housing-act-compliance/

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