When people think of housing discrimination, they tend to think of instances in which people are treated differently by a property management company because of their race or sexual orientation. Of course, property managers may not discriminate against these groups and it’s simple to avoid getting on the wrong side of the law in these situations. However, some managers run into trouble when it comes to children.
According to the Fair Housing Act, unless a building is strictly for senior citizens, children younger than 18 living with a parent or guardian may not be discriminated against when their families are trying to rent a property. It is important that property managers and staff be familiar with these discrimination laws because the Department of Housing and Urban Development has been cracking down on property management companies and following through on these types of discrimination cases.
To stay on the right side of the law, there are a few things to keep in mind. Never tell someone that your property will not accept families with children and craft your advertisements carefully so that no one can draw a conclusion that you are not family friendly. Adults-only policies are forbidden. Families also must be treated the same as child-free tenants. Property managers may not charge a higher or different type of rent to families than to child-free tenants, and families with children may not be restricted to certain areas or floors in the building.
Educating yourself and your employees on all discrimination laws to ensure that your property management company is not subject to legal action is always a good idea.
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