The United States Fair Housing Act was created in 1968 when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Federal Fair Housing Act. This came following a prolonged legislative battle after the tragic assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The Act extended the basic discrimination protections from The Civil Rights Act and citizen rights into the the housing market. The Fair Housing Law explicitly prohibits discrimination of housing to people based on 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. Fair housing laws make it illegal to discriminate because of Race, Color, Religion, Sex, Handicap, Familial Status, and National Origin.
In summary, Fair Housing laws allow people to make housing and financing choices free from unlawful acts of discrimination.
When managing your property, you must be familiar with the Fair Housing Act to avoid discriminating against people. 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).HUD or SCHAC will complete an investigation of all parties involved in the alleged discrimination claim to determine, 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 decides discrimination occurred, then a Landlord could be ordered to pay civil penalty fines and attorney’s fees.
To comply with the Fair Housing Act, property owners and managers must demonstrate that they are consistent with Tenant qualification screening. This is done through maintaining the same qualifying standards of leasing annual rental property.
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.
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