Understanding fair housing laws

Property Management and Fair Housing Laws

A Property Manager’s Guide

Fair housing laws serve to protect individuals from discrimination when seeking housing.

As such, it is essential for property managers to understand and adhere to these laws in order to prevent potential violations.

This article provides a comprehensive guide on understanding fair housing laws and how they can be applied effectively in the context of property management.

It covers topics such as what constitutes fair housing, avoiding discrimination in property management, responding to potential violations of fair housing laws, advertising in compliance with fair housing laws, and keeping records and documentation of practices.

By following this guide, property managers can ensure that their operations are compliant with all applicable regulations.

What Is Fair Housing?

The concept of equitable access to housing is a cornerstone of modern society, guaranteeing all individuals the right to live where they choose without discrimination.

Fair housing laws were created in order to protect this right and ensure that everyone has equal access to housing regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, familial status or disability.

These laws are federally mandated and prohibit any type of discrimination when it comes to renting or buying property by landlords or real estate agents.

In addition, they also make it illegal for landlords or realtors to advertise properties in a way that suggests preference based on any of these protected characteristics.

It is important for property managers and other real estate professionals to understand the fair housing laws in order to avoid potential legal repercussions and promote fairness in their business practices.

How to Avoid Discrimination in Property Management

Adhering to proper guidelines can help to ensure discrimination is not present in the property management process.

Property managers must be aware of federal and local fair housing laws, which prohibit any form of discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, gender, family status or disability.

It is important for property managers to be familiar with both state and local regulations that apply to their properties as well as relevant federal laws such as the Fair Housing Act.

Additionally, it is essential for property managers to have written policies in place that spell out acceptable practices in regards to their tenant selection criteria.

These should include clear descriptions of what information will be required from potential tenants and how decisions are made regarding tenant approval or denial.

Furthermore, all interactions with prospective tenants should remain cordial and professional at all times and any notes taken during these meetings should also be documented accordingly so that there are no misunderstandings about what was discussed or agreed upon during the conversation.

Responding to Potential Violations of Fair Housing Laws

Properly responding to potential violations of fair housing laws is an important part of any property management strategy.

Property managers must ensure that they are aware of the relevant laws, and take appropriate steps to address any potential violations promptly and effectively.

This means that they should have a clear understanding of the applicable regulations, and be able to identify when a situation may constitute a violation.

It is also important for property managers to document all complaints or concerns related to fair housing legislation in order to protect themselves from legal liability in the event of a lawsuit.

Additionally, it is essential that they provide tenants with information about their rights under these laws, as well as how to file a complaint if necessary.

Finally, following up on any allegations or complaints quickly and thoroughly can help prevent costly disputes down the line.

Advertising in Compliance with Fair Housing Laws

It is essential to ensure that all advertising practices comply with fair housing laws, in order to prevent costly disputes and protect tenants’ rights.

This includes ensuring that all advertisements do not make any distinctions based on race, color, national origin, sex, familial status or disability of potential tenants.

Additionally, it is important to consider the language used when advertising a property; words such as “luxury” or “upscale” may be seen by some as discriminatory and should be avoided.

Landlords must also be aware of their obligations under state and local fair housing laws which may have additional requirements for advertising.

These could include prohibitions against certain types of images such as family groups or couples in ads for rental properties.

Lastly, landlords must ensure that any advertisement posted to third-party websites are compliant with both federal and state fair housing laws.

By following these guidelines closely, property managers can help ensure their advertisements remain compliant with fair housing laws and protect tenant rights.

Keeping Records and Documentation of Property Management Practices

Maintaining records and documentation of all property management practices is a critical step in ensuring compliance with applicable regulations.

Property managers should ensure to keep organized records that include the time-stamped dates for when housing applications, tenant complaints, maintenance requests, and other documents related to fair housing laws were created or received.

It is also important to notate any relevant conversations between tenants and property managers as well as any decisions made by the parties involved.

Additionally, it is essential for each record to be kept up to date with accurate information such as changes in occupancy or lease agreements for all units within a property.

By implementing this practice, property managers are able to better protect themselves from potential legal issues due to noncompliance with applicable fair housing regulations.

Fair housing laws seek to ensure that tenants and prospective tenants are treated equitably regardless of their protected class status. It is the responsibility of property managers to understand and comply with fair housing regulations in order to avoid potential legal issues.

By adhering to these regulations, property managers can create a safe and inclusive living environment for all tenants and potential tenants. Through education on this topic, property managers can make a positive impact on their communities by providing equitable access to rental housing opportunities.

Furthermore, staying up-to-date on fair housing laws is essential in order to remain compliant with changing legislation. Ultimately, understanding the implications of fair housing laws is crucial for successful property management operations.


In Miami, JMK Property Management is the trusted choice for property management.Operating under JMK Group, our Property Management division is part of our vertically integrated business model- providing all of our clients needs under one roof.

Contact us today to experience the difference firsthand.  We will take care of your property so you can take care of your bucket list.

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Mehdi Khachani

Mehdi Khachani

Chief Executive Officer

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