THE FAIR HOUSING ACT

Yen-Yi Anderson focuses her practice on excellence in business immigration, commercial law, and civil litigation.

Philipp Kirschbaum is a Law Clerk at Anderson & Associates and a contributing author for the Anderson & Associates blog.

The Fair Housing of 1968 (FHA) together with the Fair Houing Amendment Act of 1988 (FHAA) are a set of federal laws which protect people in real estate transactions from discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, handicap, and familial status. Broadly speaking, a clear example of a discriminatory act would be one’s refusal to rent, sell, or negotiate for the rental or sale of housing on one of the bases above.  Other examples include limiting your privileges in the dwelling (ex. restricting access to common areas), failing to make repairs, falsely stating that the property is unavailable, or otherwise expressing a preference based on any of the above protected classes.

WHAT TO DO IF YOUR RIGHTS HAVE BEEN VIOLATED

Within one year of the act, file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) online at https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/fair_housing_equal_opp/online-complaint.  Otherwise, within two years of the violation, you may file a civil action against the party who has violated your FHA rights.  Remedies include monetary damages, attorney’s fees, and equitable relief.