Immediate providers of housing, such as property owners and real estate firms, are prohibited from discriminating under the Fair Housing Act (FHA). It also prevents other businesses, such as banking institutions or other lending agencies and homeowners’ financial institutions, from derogatory acts that render homes unavailable to people based on their race, religion, gender, or national origin.
It also provides protection from discrimination based on disability and familial status. This means landlords cannot refuse to rent or sell the property to someone because of any of these characteristics.
When it comes to St. Louis property management, specifically, this type of protection extends beyond the legislation’s basic protections by providing an additional layer of protection against discrimination based on age, ancestry, military status, marital status, and sexual orientation.
Fair Housing Act of 1968
In 1968, Congress passed legislation to forbid discrimination based on one’s race, color of skin, sexual preference, ethnicity, or religious practice in the sale, rental, or expenditures of housing, for both public and private properties. The law has been revised numerous times, most recently to include individuals with disabilities and familial status, amended in 1988.
This statute was founded on the idea that every person, regardless of their origin or circumstances, should be given a fair chance to find a decent home free of discrimination based on factors beyond their control.
This law applies to all housing types, including rental, public housing, sales, and financing. It is enforced by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which is in charge of examining allegations of housing discrimination.
FHA Against Discrimination
The FHA prevents mortgage lenders from discriminating against persons who seek loans. For example, the setting of different loan requirements, higher interest rates, different procedures for acquiring a loan, refusal to provide essential paperwork, and discriminatory practices in property appraisal. It does not guarantee everyone will be approved for a loan or rental agreement, but it does ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity to be considered.
The statute makes it illegal for anybody to refuse to market, to lease, or bargain for a residence to safeguard one of the classes. This includes prohibiting guests from entering the property. Furthermore, providing an unfair level of assistance or selling on additional policies or terms is prohibited.
3. Illegal Actions
The FHA forbids landowners and dealers from using derogatory language or suggesting a preference in property ads. Threatening or interfering with anyone’s right to fair housing is also not allowed.
Landlords must ensure that their tenants’ rights are protected and that they are not harassed or intimidated. This includes prohibiting any sort of discrimination or derogatory statements during advertising. You must have a legitimate basis to decline or deny someone’s application.
When determining whether or not to rent to a tenant, consider the following factors:
- Insubstantial money
- Poor credit
- Bad rental history
Additionally, landlords must offer reasonable adjustments for people with disabilities in order for them to have equal access to housing. This could include ramp placement or entryway enlargement. If, on the other hand, the landlord has an old property and accommodating a disabled tenant would require a significant refurbishment, the landowner is typically not obligated to make the accommodations.
Maintain consistency in your tenant screening process by treating each prospective tenant the same way. Likewise, always follow the eviction process to the last letter.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development will impose the following penalty on landlords who violate the FHA:
- $16,000 for first-time offenders
- $37,500 if the landlord has already violated the law, and
- $65,000 if the landlord violated the law twice or more before the present complaint.
This legislation was authorized by Congress to assure people that each individual who seeks housing is given the same treatment. This act is intended to inform landowners and clients about unfair practices.
Discriminatory behaviors include deferring or failing to conduct necessary fixes or servicing for certain renters, as well as restricting amenities, accommodations, or benefits of a property based on a person’s sexuality, ethnicity, or racial traits, as per its law enforcement organization, the HUD.
It is critical that both tenants and landlords at property management St. Louis companies are informed of the legislation’s protections in order to guarantee that their rights are respected. Landlords must follow the law, and tenants must take whatever action is necessary if they believe their rights have been abused. The St. Louis Human Rights Commission is available to assist landlords and tenants with any FHA-related issues or concerns.
How Deca Property Management Can Help
For responsible maintenance of the residence’s status quo and appeasing of occupants, look for reliable property management companies in St. Louis. Our team at Deca Property Management has been in St. Louis property management and real estate services since 1990.
We put our 30 years of real estate knowledge in St. Louis to work for owners and investors who want to earn more rent while dealing with fewer problems during the process of acquiring St. Louis investment property.
The Deca team has professional rental criteria established and is Fair Housing certified. Because of our experience, we can provide the tools, resources, and knowledge needed for effective leasing, management, and maintenance of your asset. Deca Property Management can assist you with comprehensive resident screening, substantial marketing/advertising, and 24-hour supervision. Get in touch with us for more information.