As a landlord, whether or not you work with a property management company, one of the most critical pieces of legislation that you need to abide by is the Fair Housing Act (FHA). While you can use a variety of factors like criminal history, credit score and renting history to influence your tenant decisions, there are other factors you are forbidden from considering.
The Basics of the Fair Housing Act
As part of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, there are a number of protected classes that cannot be discriminated against when selling, renting or financing housing. The things you cannot discriminate against under federal law include:
- Ethnicity/National Origin
- Familial Status
- Physical or Mental Disability
Colorado, among many other states, has additional protected classes, including:
- Sexual Orientation
- Marital Status
Denver has additional protected classes, including military status, parenthood, gender variance and source of income. Always check to ensure you understand exactly which classes are protected under the Fair Housing Act at your property.
Is Anyone Exempt from the Fair Housing Act?
While FHA laws apply to all single-family homes and multi-family units, there can be exemptions for some landlords and property managers. In Colorado, unlike many other states, single-family homes and owner-occupied dwellings of up to four units are not exempt. The only exception possible in those situations is familial status (if the family has children under 18).
The two types of rental properties that are exempt from the Fair Housing Act restrictions in Colorado are:
- Single rooms for rent in single-family homes that are also owner-occupied
- Non-commercial housing that is run by religious organizations or private clubs (who can offer members or constituents priority)
What Are the Consequences of Not Following the Fair Housing Act?
Colorado takes violations very seriously, and Colorado courts offer more remedies for discrimination than federal courts. Money could be awarded to compensate the plaintiff for their losses, or companies can be fined for discriminatory acts. Complaints against landlords or property management companies can be filed in nationally or on a state level depending on the issue.
All County Denver South Property Management Ensures You Don’t Discriminate
All County Denver South Property Management is here to help property owners get the best return on their investment through knowledgeable and trustworthy property management services. From managing tenant relationships to lease enforcement, we look forward to working with you to see how your investment can be a long-term, stress-free asset. For a complimentary quote, call us today at (720) 664-4550.