Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 is known as the Fair Housing Act ("FHA"). As we have discussed many times on our Fair Housing Defense blog, that law provides that we cannot be discriminated against in most housing transactions because of our race, gender, religion, national origin, or color. The FHA was amended in 1988 to include familial status (which is the presence of children under the age of 18) and handicap.
As written, the FHA covers most — but not all — housing. Some exemptions to coverage under the FHA include: (a) owner-occupied buildings with no more than four units (which is commonly known as the Mrs. Murphy exemption); (b) single family housing sold or rented without the use of a broker if the private individual owner does not own more than three such single family homes at one time; or (c) housing operated by organizations and private clubs that limit occupancy to members.
I don’t want to focus on the exemptions all that often because the vast majority of apartment housing is covered by the FHA and our professional apartment community owners and management companies absolutely are committed to following the law which prohibits housing discrimination. However, as a defense lawyer, if I see a case and if one of the FHA exemptions applies — we need to ensure to use it.
Just A Thought.