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Landlord Charged with Housing Discrimination for “No Teenagers Please”

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently announced that it was charging a landlord in New Orleans with housing discrimination for publishing an advertisement that discriminated against families with children. The ad included language that stated “No Teenagers Please.”

Rental property owners and managers should avoid using language in their ads that might trigger a possible fair housing compliant.  Never use language that could be considered a possible infringement on a protected class.  As a quick reminder, the protected classes under Federal, State and Local municipalities in Michigan are:

Federal

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

 
State

  • All the above, plus:
  • Marital Status
  • Age

 
Locals

  • All the above, plus:
  • Lawful Source of Income

 
Some communities have even more protected classes, e.g. Ann Arbor and East Grand Rapids add Sexual Orientation.  E. Grand Rapids, Wyoming and Kentwood also add the class of “Weight and Height.”  Make sure to check your local community for any protected classes that you may not be aware of.

Furthermore, additional “guidelines” published by HUD can also further restrict screening policies under HUD rules. Here’s an article from our knowledge base about the latest regarding criminals and tenant screening.

 

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