A question about apartment community advertising came across my desk. As such, I thought it was worth just going over a few basic advertising rules. In short, housing advertisements should not state or imply a discriminatory preference.
It is never appropriate, of course, to use words describing current or potential residents in ethnic or racial terms — such as "No Irish" or "No African Americans". You should not publish an ad that states "no wheelchairs" as that is discrminatory against potential residents with disabilities. If management wants to be descriptive in an ad, use phrases and terms such as "desirable neighborhood" or perhaps "a unique find" in your copy. Similarly, phrases such as "mother-in-law suite" or "cozy two bedroom apartment" have been found to be appropriate and not discriminatory.
Notably, it goes without saying that an ad must not contain any explicit preference or limitation based on religion. Also, I always recommend that ads avoid using a church (or similar religious building) in the ad. To illustrate, even if only for providing directions, I would not include "turn right after the Catholic Church on Main Street" in your ad as there could be a presumption that one religion is favored over another.
Remember, advertisements cannot state a limitation based on familial status (children or pregancy). Ads just should not contain limits on the ages of children nor should they state a preference for adults, couples, or singles.
Advertising is something management can absolutely work through ahead of time to avoid what are likely unintentional problems down the road.
Just A Thought.