Avoiding A Fair Housing Claim Over Source Of Income Discrimination – Winston Rowe and Associates
Many states and cities have laws against source of income discrimination meaning a property owner cannot choose to reject an applicant based on where his income comes from as long as it is a lawful source.
This type of discrimination is known as "source of income" discrimination, and though not prohibited under federal fair housing law, it is prohibited by some state, city, and county laws.
Source of income discrimination is often directed at people whose lawful livelihoods come from sources other than a paycheck.
Examples of lawful sources of income include:
Source of income discrimination may not be prohibited under federal fair housing law; however, it is prohibited by some state, city, and county laws.
Housing Choice Vouchers (Section 8)
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Alimony or child support payments
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
What types of actions may be considered source of income discrimination?
Here are some examples:
Advertising that a person "must have a job" to rent an apartment.
Requiring documentation, such as pay stubs, that are typically only available to people who are working.
Advertisements that express limitations as to the source of income of potential residents, such as, "No Section 8" or "We do not take public assistance"
Refusing to rent to a person who is receiving public benefits.
Setting income requirements artificially high in order to exclude applicants who receive public benefits.
Requiring co-signers or a larger security deposit because of an applicant's source of income.
How to avoid a fair housing claim over source of income discrimination:
If discrimination based on the source of income is prohibited in your state or locality, one of the most important things you can do to make sure you do not end up on the wrong side of a fair housing claim is to keep all employees well informed.
Staff members should refresh their fair housing knowledge at least annually and be aware that discrimination based on "source of income" is illegal.
All staff members who come into contact with residents and prospective residents must be trained in fair housing laws.
This article is published by Winston Rowe and Associates https://www.winstonrowe.com