What do property owners and managers need to know about the Fair Housing Act and Apartments.com?

Before advertising a property, owners and managers have a responsibility to understand federal and state anti-discrimination laws such as the Fair Housing Act (FHA). Failure to do so could result in stiff fines, penalties, or lost rental income. 

What is the Fair Housing Act (FHA)?

The FHA prevents discrimination in housing based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability. Many states and jurisdictions have adopted stricter guidelines in an attempt to prevent discrimination that is not outlined in the FHA, such as protections for the LGBTQ+ community or low income residents.

Although many of these laws and regulations vary by state, one thing is certain: discriminatory ads are not allowed.

What is a discriminatory ad?

A discriminatory ad is one that asserts preferences for one group of renters over another. Something as simple as “we do not accept housing vouchers” could be illegal in your state. 

At Apartments.com, we take this responsibility seriously by prohibiting discriminatory language on our site. We may reject ads that do not meet state or federal guidelines. 

What can I do?

A good rule of thumb is check your listing language before posting. If anything could be construed as excluding a group of people from applying (e.g., “females preferred,” “no young children,” or “no Section 8”), please take it out. 

If you have additional questions, see our Landlord’s Guide to Fair Housing Laws or visit HUD’s website on fair housing.

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