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Fair Housing Act Lawyers

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What is the Fair Housing Act?

The Fair Housing Act is a federal law that, among other things, prohibits housing discrimination against certain protected groups when renting or buying real estate. 

To Whom Does the Fair Housing Act Apply?

The Fair Housing Act applies to any person involved in the following activities: 

  • Selling or renting real estate
  • Advertising real estate
  • Providing financial assistance for buyers or renters of real estate
  • Brokering or appraising real estate
  • Participating in real estate organizations
  • Intimidating, coercing or threatening others with regard to their purchase or rental or real estate

What are the Exceptions to the Fair Housing Act?

There are four important exceptions to the Fair Housing Act: 

  • Single family homes, as long as the home is also rented or sold by the owner, the owner does not own more than 3 such homes at a time, the advertising for the sale or rental was not discriminatory, and the owner did not use a real estate agent or broker
  • Rooms or units in a building with a maximum or four units, as long as the owner lives in of the units
  • Rooms or units owned directly or indirectly by a religious organization, as long as preference is only given on the basis of that membership, and membership in that religion is not restricted by race, color or nationality
  • Rooms or units owned by a private organization for non-commercial use, as long as preference is only given on the basis of membership, and membership in that organization is not restricted by race, color or nationality

Do I Need a Lawyer for My Fair Housing Act Problem?

If you are a landlord or owner concerned about conforming to the Fair Housing Act's numerous provisions, it would be helpful to speak to an experienced real property attorney.  A real property lawyer also can advise you about state and local housing discrimination laws, which can be equally complex. 

Photo of page author Ken LaMance

, LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor and Attorney at Law

Last Modified: 11-09-2017 01:12 AM PST

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