If you are an apartment management professional, it is good practice to presume your community is covered under our federal Fair Housing Act (FHA) as well as its state (and/or city or county counterpart). Indeed, under the federal law “dwelling” is defined as “any building, structure, or portion thereof which is occupied as, or designed or intended for occupancy as, a residence by one or more families, and any vacant land which is offered for sale or lease for the construction or location thereon of any such building, structure, or portion thereof.”
That is quite a bit of legalese.
What does that mean in English? The term “dwelling” has been broadly interpreted to cover: Apartment communities, nursing homes, group homes, seasonal facilities, residential facilities, mobile homes, trailer parks, and condominiums.
What are types of housing not covered under the FHA?
Buildings with four or less units (where the landlord occupies one of the units);
Single family housing sold or rented without a real estate agent;
Hotels and motels (which are, however, considered places of public accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act); and
Again, if you are in the property management business, it is best to do your work as if you are covered under the FHA. If you think your property is exempt, I would suggest you reach out to a lawyer to double check. Or you could really need a lawyer like me to help defend against a discrimination complaint.
Just A Thought.