Whether you rent property to a commercial tenant or you are a residential landlord, housing discrimination is a topic you need to understand. Landlords have rights and responsibilities, and every year, many face harsh repercussions due to discrimination complaints.
Sometimes, landlords do not realize that certain actions are against the law. If you are in the middle of a discrimination complaint or you want to avoid breaking any laws, take a closer look at this issue.
What are some examples of housing discrimination?
On their website, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing outlines multiple examples of unlawful housing discrimination. According to the DFEH, landlords cannot legally discriminate against tenants and prospective tenants based on their racial background, age, immigration status, gender or religious views.
Landlords who refuse to rent to a protected individual on the basis of these attributes or provide unfair terms in rental agreements sometimes face charges, as well as those who terminate a rental contract because of a tenant’s race or gender. Sexual harassment and retaliation against a tenant who files a complaint are also against the law.
What are the consequences of housing discrimination accusations?
Housing discrimination can result in legal costs, civil penalties and fines related to the emotional toll of discrimination. Moreover, tenants who are able to successfully work through a housing discrimination case are also entitled to housing that a landlord denied, in some instances. Aside from the financial impact of housing discrimination charges, these cases often carry a heavy emotional toll and lead to significant damage with respect to a landlord’s reputation.