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What does the Fair Housing Act entail?

On Behalf of | Apr 17, 2020 | Property Law

When renting a place to a tenant, you may worry about following the law to the letter. 

Learning more about what the Fair Housing Act states can help you stay aware of these guidelines. 

Prevention from discrimination 

Outlined in the Fair Housing Act is a list of characteristics that you cannot make housing decisions based off of. The Act helps protect people who are applying for housing or a place to live from discrimination. 

For example, someone’s religion or familial status, along with race or sex, should not be a factor for a decision while renting housing to people. This helps prevent any unjustified choices or preferences for those who are vying for a place to live. 

How it manifests 

It may be one thing to state you do not discriminate as a general promise, but there are also concrete actions that you should avoid. These actions include setting unfair conditions for renting, denying a place is for rent to certain tenants, giving some people worse utilities than others, or using a different set of qualifications to decide who to rent to. 

In addition, trying to persuade people to move because of incoming homeowners of a different race or income level is also illegal. This is commonly known as blockbusting, which is discriminatory in nature. It is also against the law to charge higher or lower prices for particular buyers when the choice to do so stems from favoritism or bias. 


Another area for potentially illegal behavior is when it comes to handling mortgages. Actions such as withholding information, not cooperating with completing necessary paperwork, or refusing to act how you typically would for another homeowner can be signs of discrimination.