Housing Industry Resources
Fair Housing Law
Strengthen your Fair Housing policies by learning more about Fair Housing Law. The Federal Fair Housing Act protects individuals from discrimination in the sale, rental and financing of housing based on race, color, national origin, religion, gender, disability, citizenship, immigration status, and familial status. In the State of California, there are additional protections for marital status, sexual orientation, ancestry, source of income and arbitrary characteristics such as age through the California Fair Employment and Housing Act.
Based on the protected classes above, it is illegal to:
- Refuse to rent, lease, or sell most types of housing.
- Represent that housing is not available when it is.
- Set different terms, conditions, or privileges for housing or for use of housing facilities, or enforce rules for some tenants only.
- Quote higher rent or security deposit to some tenants.
- Make necessary repairs for some tenants only.
- Steer potential tenants to other complexes or certain parts of a complex.
- Advertise in a discriminatory manner.
Best Practices to Prevent Discrimination
- Be consistent, fair and reasonable. Apply all rental policies equally.
- Provide all your managers with fair housing training.
- Provide accurate, complete information about available units and equal treatment to all who inquire.
- Do not request marital status or race on your applications.
- Accept the first application that meets all of your requirements.
- If you deny an application, keep a record of the reasons for the denial for at least three years.
- Refund security deposits as state law mandates.
- Respond to your tenants’ concerns and needs.
- Establish reasonable rules for recreation and use of premises.
- Avoid words like “Adult or Mature Couple” or “Professional” in your ads. Describe the property features instead.
Fair Housing Advocates of Northern California offers professional training seminars and conferences on fair housing law. The courses are appropriate for property owners and managers, and other real estate professionals in the private and public sectors. Contact the education department for more information.
On-site Training Seminars
Fair Housing Advocates offers comprehensive on-site fair housing training. We provide a customized session of our basic Fair Housing Law and Practice course and also offer in-depth training programs that cover a wide range of fair housing related topics. Contact the education department for more information.
Successfully Housing People with Disabilities Conference
A day-long conference on Reasonable Accommodations (RA) and fair housing laws as they pertain to people with disabilities. The conference includes an overview of fair housing law focusing on disability rights, followed by roundtable discussions led by experienced facilitators. Materials include a comprehensive handbook that includes the laws and frequently asked questions about Reasonable Accommodations. Check our Events page for future conferences and training sessions.
- Fair Housing Law and Practice Webinar for Public Housing Authorities and CDBG Recipients. Presented by Fair Housing of Marin, 2014. All rights reserved.
- Fair Housing and Gender: A training for the housing industry and housing advocates. All rights reserved.
- Discriminatory Statements/Advertising Webinar. Presented by Fair Housing Advocates of Northern California, 2018. All rights reserved.