The Fair Housing Act is designed to help give everyone an equal opportunity to get into a home that can meet their needs without facing discrimination in the form of religion, race, origin, or gender.
Some states have specific exemptions that are different from the federal guidelines, but for the most part each state is at least as strict, if not even more strict, with their exemptions to the FHA.
Are you what the Fair Housing Act exemptions happen to be or wonder if you qualify for an exemption?
Here are the basics of what you need to know so that you can keep your business and your property in proper compliance with state and federal laws.
Housing for Seniors May Qualify
If the rental units you have as a landlord are specifically marketed and intended toward a population that is 62 or older, then you may qualify for a FHA exemption.
This exemption may also be extended to a complex that is intended for people who are 55 and older and has an 80% occupancy rate of this senior age group, even though there are younger individuals living in the complex as well.
Small Properties Often Qualify for FHA Exemptions
Under federal law, any housing complex that has less than four unique units and has one of those units occupied by the owner will be exempt from the FHA.
The stipulation to this exemption, however, is that the owner of the property may not state or in any way specify what their preferences happen to be in the rental of their units.
Advertising may not include any exclusions and there is a prohibition in place to prevent discriminatory practices, even though the property qualifies as being exempt.
Religious Organizations May Qualify
If a religious organization owns a housing complex and it is used for religious purposes, the it may be exempt from the Fair Housing Act.
A lot of the exemption depends on whether or not the primary use of the complex is for permanent residential purposes or temporary lodging for religious purposes.
A living facility for hired pastors, for example, that includes their family may not be exempt from the FHA because this would be their permanent address.
A seminary with dorm housing, however, may qualify.
Reasonable Accommodations for Disabled Individuals
The primary issue with accommodations is in regards to the impact of the landlord's business more than the ability to provide the accommodation itself.
If no dramatic impact to a landlord's business can be proven by the provision of an accommodation, then a landlord is expected to meet that requested accommodation assuming the prospective tenant has requested it in writing. What qualifies as an undue burden for a business?
That's taken on a case-by-case basis, but usually is a combination of cost and time investment in order to get a return on the investment.
When it comes to having a tenant for the first time, it can be pretty daunting because you are going to be the corresponding landlord and a new relationship will emerge, which will need time to grow... More
The landlord and tenant laws in California are literally the same as they are in any other state. These laws, rules and regulations are put into practice because they uphold an order, a discipline,... More
People are aware that there are different rulings in each state with reference to the landlord/tenant laws. The state of Illinois also has a set of laws. These rules and regulations are basically... More
All landlords know that before they can formally become a landlord there are a lot of things they need to understand. Landlords and tenants cannot act as such without any legal bodies involved. That... More
When entering into an agreement with a potential tenant, a landlord needs to fully understand the contract that binds them into the specific relationship of being a landlord and a tenant. Now that the... More
If you’re currently considering the option of offering one of your properties for rental purposes, you should first educate yourself about the landlord tenant relationship. For the first timers, it’s... More
Landlords have many things to think of; they have to deal with legal issues, privacy issues, and so much more. Above all, they sometimes need to deal with a problem tenant. The interesting thing is... More
Most landlords may have some idea what an Estoppel Certificate is. However, many aspiring landlords are still unaware of what this certificate is all about. Basically, a tenant Estoppel Certificate is... More
Landlords have a lot of administrative work to do when they have tenants. It seems easy to let people come and live in your home, have them pay the monthly rent and carry out your daily activities.... More
There are a whole bunch of myths about lease agreements that most people believe that are simply not true: You can't rent a property without lease agreement – Actually there are laws in every state... More