Fair Housing vs. Unfair Housing

Do you know the difference?

Knowing the difference between fair housing and unfair housing isn't as obvious as you might think. This blog aims to present a variety of important and interesting fair housing issues.

If you're an apartment professional, avoid costly mistakes by reading the stories of others who — even with good intentions — learned compliance lessons the hard way. (For the easy way, click here.)

If you live in an apartment, get familiar with your rights when it comes to housing discrimination, as well as your options for seeking justice.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Fair Housing Month Sale! $9.99 Fair Housing eBook Only $1.99 (Limited-Time Offer)

To celebrate fair housing month, Fair Housing Helper is pleased to offer, for a limited time, the Kindle version of its award-winning compliance training book—complete with professional designation, badge, and personalized certificate—for only $1.99. The Kindle version normally retails for $9.99 (and a paperback version is available for $19.99). Thanks to free Kindle apps, you don't need a Kindle device and can download the book to read on your tablet, smartphone, or even a computer.

Kirkus Reviews calls Fair Housing Helper for Apartment Professionals a "useful, easy-to-read guide for those who want to learn more about complying with U.S. fair housing law," noting that the "book offers plenty of good advice in plain English" and the "quiz format makes learning the law fun and easy to digest."

Discover the answers to these questions and more:

  • What phrases should I avoid when advertising my apartments?
  • Can I reject applicants who weren't born in the U.S.A.?
  • Do I have enough parking spaces for people with disabilities?
  • Must I let a tenant keep a cat for his disability?
  • Can I require families to put children in separate bedrooms?
  • Can I reject prospects with HIV or AIDS for health reasons?
  • Should I worry about discriminating against illegal drug users?
  • Will I get fined because all my tenants are white?
  • Must I rent to families with children at my senior community?
  • Will I get into trouble for turning away Section 8 prospects?
  • Can I legally reject prospects who are openly gay?
  • Do I need to install grab bars in my apartments' bathrooms?
  • Can I decorate my common areas for the holidays?
To take advantage of this special limited-time offer, visit Amazon.com today. You can start reading the book immediately after download, and then you'll be on your way to earning your designation as a FairHousingHelper.com Gold Professional (complete with badge and personalized certificate) in no time.

For more information about the book, please visit FairHousingHelper.com.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Watch President Johnson Proudly Announce the Passage of the Fair Housing Act

After years of debate and struggle, the Fair Housing Act (FHA) became a legislative reality on April 11, 1968, when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Civil Rights Act of 1968, of which the FHA was Title VIII.

Since that time, the FHA has been amended to include additional protected classes and provide for stronger enforcement. Its aim, as stated in the very beginning of the text of the law, remains "to provide, within constitutional limitations, for fair housing throughout the United States."

As Fair Housing Month nears its end, take a moment to watch President Johnson speak about his efforts to enact federal housing discrimination legislation and proclaim that one of his presidency's "proudest moments" is the signing into law of the "promises of a century," in this short video (courtesy of History.com):

Saturday, April 25, 2015

It's Fair Housing Month... Do You Know How to File a Fair Housing Complaint With HUD?

If you're an apartment prospect or tenant who believes that your landlord or another housing professional has illegally discriminated against you, you may be able to get relief under the Fair Housing Act (FHA) by filing a complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This popular route saves tenants time and money as well as the need to hire an attorney.

Here are the steps you'll need to take if you decide to proceed with filing a complaint against your landlord with HUD.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Rental Properties and Pets: Making Reasonable Accommodations for a Disability

Landlords are entitled to create and enforce rules governing tenants' pets at a rental property. They can even ban pets from their buildings, if they wish.

But landlords and tenants should both know that landlords can't automatically say no to prospects and tenants who request to keep an animal in their apartment as an accommodation for a disability.

Instead, the Fair Housing Act (FHA) says that landlords must consider all accommodation requests tenants make that they need in connection with a disability, then grant such requests, if they're reasonable. 

See what lessons landlords and tenants can learn from a recent dispute about a family's request to keep a "therapy pig" in their home for the benefit of a child diagnosed with ADHD and Asperger's.