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Property management data can help you see how your competitors comply with Fair Housing laws.

The Fair Housing Act is a law that helps protect people against unfair, discriminatory housing practices. These laws have been in place since the 1960s, but property management data suggests that some properties continue to violate these laws, often due to lack of training or education around fair housing laws. In this article, we’ll discuss some important things property managers should know about fair housing laws.

Property Management Data on Fair Housing Complaints

Fair housing laws make it illegal to discriminate against several protected classes, including:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • National Origin
  • Sex
  • Familial Status
  • Disability

In addition, many state and local laws also protect other classes, like sexual orientation, gender identity, and marital status. For example, Pennsylvania has laws in place that state you cannot discriminate on the basis of age, specifically age 40 and over.

Despite these laws, in 2020 there were 28,712 reported fair housing complaints received to government agencies. In many cases, violations are due to uninformed property management employees and leasing agents. Understanding the property management data regarding fair housing violations can help you avoid similar issues in your property. 

Following Fair Housing Rules at Your Property

There are several things you can do to help protect your property against fair housing violations. Multifamily data suggests that educating staff can go a long way for preventing fair housing complaints. Making sure everyone involved with your property understands the laws and what discrimination is can help you avoid issues. 

Keep in mind that fair housing laws apply to all parts of the process, from screening and negotiating to leasing and ongoing maintenance. So, it’s important to have uniform policies in place and follow them for everyone who applies for an apartment in your community. Having written policies as well as extensive documentation for each lead and tenant can help with this. 

In addition, it’s also important to make sure your marketing and advertising efforts are welcoming to people of all backgrounds. This includes more obvious issues like stating “no children allowed” or “[insert protected class] need not apply.” However, there are also more subtle applications as well. For instance, if you use pictures of people in your apartment marketing materials, it’s important to consider whether those photos and visuals make it clear that all people are welcome to apply and live in your community. Therefore, it’s important for property managers to familiarize themselves with all aspects of the federal, state, and local fair housing laws to avoid potentially discriminatory behaviors. 

Comprehensive Multifamily Data from Apartment Data Services

Apartment data research from Apartment Data Services can help you make key decisions for your multifamily property. We offer comprehensive data reports to help property managers, leasing agents, and other multifamily professionals. The multifamily market is becoming increasingly competitive. Knowing what your competitors are doing and when to expect new properties to open is helpful for everything from setting rent rates to creating property policies. Our experts contact properties in our large national database every month to provide you with the most up-to-date data available. Contact us today to request a demo of our services.