When people are trying to rent a place to live, or they are trying to buy a home, the law says that they have to be treated fairly. Everyone has to be given the same chance. Discrimination is not allowed.
This is very similar to what happens in the workplace, and there are protected classes against which discrimination is prohibited. According to the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, the following are the standard protected classes:
- National origin
- Familial Status
As a renter or seller, you need to ensure you don’t infringe on a person’s rights. For instance, you can’t choose to rent to a male tenant specifically because they are male and because you do not want to rent to a female tenant. You have to give people of both sexes the same chance.
There’s more you should know:
Accusations could happen anyway
One thing to remember, however, is that you can do everything correctly and still face accusations. Prospective renters may not realize that you are actually treating them fairly.
Maybe you chose to rent your apartment to one couple over another. The couple that you chose happens to be white and the other couple happens to be African-American. That didn’t factor into your decision at all, and you know it, but they may believe that it did. You could still be accused of discrimination even when you were just making a decision based on something like personality or financial assets.
How do you handle these allegations?
If you’re accused of discrimination, it can be a serious issue for your rental or selling business and for your reputation. You may need to make sure you know exactly what legal steps you can take.