In response to regular requests, here is a summary of when the Fair Housing Act (FHA) may not be applicable. Again, if you are a professional property management company or employee, it is extremely likely the FHA (as well as state, city, and/or county anti-discrimination laws) applies. Nevertheless, here are some guidelines:

The FHA does not generally apply to small owner-occupied buildings (a property with four or less units) when the owner resides in one of the units. This is referred to as the “Mrs. Murphy exemption.”

The FHA does not apply to single family homes rented without a broker.

If you are a part of a religious organization leasing apartments at a property that is not being operated for a commercial purpose, it is permissible to limit occupancy (or give preferences) to people of your organization’s religion.  If this exemption applies, however, please note that the FHA makes clear that this provision is only for religion and warns that religious organizations cannot discriminate based on race, color, or national origin.

If you are renting apartments on behalf of a private club and not for a commercial purpose, the FHA permits the club to give a preference or limit occupancy to club members.

If your property qualifies as Housing for Older Persons, you can be exempt from the portion of the FHA that prohibits discrimination against families with children. Exempt properties are those that are designated for age 55 and older or age 62 and older communities. You will want to speak with a lawyer like me to see if your property qualifies as Housing for Older Persons.

That being said, even if your property is exempt from the FHA, you still must follow the FHA’s prohibition on discriminatory statements, notices, or advertising. Similarly, always remember that you must also comply with the state, city, and/or county fair housing laws in which your property is located.

Hope this is helpful.

Just A Thought.