Anyone who participates in a Florida real estate transaction has to abide by the Federal Fair Housing Act. It’s important to ensure your employees understand it too.
Stick to a consistent process
To avoid problems arising related to the Federal Fair Housing Act, you should establish a consistent process for showing, leasing and selling properties. Real estate law requires that you treat each person who inquires about a property the same way. Write down your process and refine it as necessary until you discover what’s most efficient for you. Keep the records of your process and when you modified it.
Be aware of the wording in your advertisements
Another common mistake that goes against the Federal Fair Housing Act is suggesting a property is best for a certain type of person. Others perceive it as discrimination. The Federal Fair Housing Act states that you can’t discriminate against others based on race, religion, familial status, color, sex, disability or national origin. Thus, your advertisements shouldn’t have any language relating to these protected classes. Keep it focused on the property rather than whom you think it’s the best fit for.
No rules against families
You can’t place restrictions based on the age of children or if a renter or buyer has children. Federal law prevents you from denying a renter or buyer based on lead paint. It’s also illegal to place restrictions on where children can go on the property and where they can sleep. You can’t make a rule that children can’t sleep with their parents or with a sibling of the opposite sex. It would also be illegal to turn away a person with a child for the reason of dangerous or unsafe conditions on the property.
Make sure that all of your interactions with prospects, tenants and anyone else you deal with on a real estate transaction are in line with the Fair Housing Act. Putting rules in place that restrict a protected class is usually illegal.