The history of the United States Fair Housing Act was initiated when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Federal Fair Housing Act into law in 1968, following a prolonged legislative battle after the tragic assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The Act extended the basic discrimination protections that were part of the federal legislation of 1964, known as the Civil Rights Act, and it extended citizen rights into the area of the housing market. The Fair Housing Law explicitly prohibits discrimination of housing to people based on their race, color, national origin, religion, or sex. Additional amendments were added in 1988 that also included a person’s familial status and disability. The Act protects specific types of real estate activity from discrimination, which include the sale, rental, and financing of dwellings. As a result, fair housing laws make it illegal for anyone to discriminate against any person because of Race, Color, Religion, Sex, Handicap, Familial Status, and National Origin.
In summary, our Fair Housing laws allow a person to choose their housing types and financing choices free from unfair or unlawful acts of discrimination from people who own or manage real estate sales or annual rentals.
When managing your property, you must be familiar with the Fair Housing Act to avoid discriminating against people that could lead you into a costly lawsuit. If an individual feels they may have been discriminated against by you, or a property manager, they can file a complaint with state or federal oversight agencies such as SCHAC (South Carolina Human affairs Commission) or HUD (the US Department of Housing and Development). If HUD or SCHAC determines through a complete investigation of all parties involved in the alleged discrimination claim, had grounds of merit, the case would be tried in State or Federal District Court, depending on the origin of the claim. If a judge rules that discrimination has occurred, then a Landlord could be ordered to pay significant civil penalty fines and attorney’s fees.
To comply with the Fair Housing Act, property owners, and property managers must demonstrate that they are consistent with Tenant qualification screening by maintaining the same qualifying standards of leasing annual rental property and that it was the same standard used for all applicants, including the complainant.
We support the Fair Housing laws of our state and nation as the right way to treat all people equally with fairness and mutual dignity that everyone deserves. Protect yourself against accidental or negligent discrimination claims, and you will avoid a costly lawsuit, by thoroughly familiarizing yourself with the Fair Housing Acts of South Carolina since they incorporate all the essential elements of the federal mandates.