Fair Housing Law
The Fair Housing laws were passed to prevent individuals from being discriminated against in various housing transactions. For example under federal law it’s illegal to discriminate against someone based on seven protected classes: race, color, sex, religion, national origin, familial status and disability. To those seven classes Virginia added elderliness meaning persons over 55 may not be discriminated against in a housing transaction.
Housing transactions generally includes the sale of a home or a rental, applying for a mortgage and applying for homeowners insurance. Whether someone is trying to buy a home or rent an apartment or single family home or trying to obtain a mortgage or homeowner’s insurance they cannot be discriminated against on the basis of their race, color, sex, religion, national origin, familial status, disability and elderliness.
Being discriminated against means either the person was refused an opportunity to buy or rent because they are members of one of the eight protected classes. But discrimination also includes being treated differently because you are a member of a protected class. For example, generally landlords may not ask families with children to pay a higher security deposit than families without children. That would be considered familial status discrimination based on terms and conditions.
Most discrimination complaints involve a rental transaction. And most complaints are now based on disability with race being second and familial status being third.
Since 2006 I have represented numerous Real Estate Agents, Brokers, Real Estate Companies, landlords and homeowners who have been respondents or defendants in a fair housing complaint. I acquired my knowledge about the Fair Housing Laws when for almost ten years I was the director of Virginia’s Fair Housing Office. As the director of Virginia’s Fair Housing Office I worked closely with Virginia’s Real Estate and Fair Housing Boards, Virginia’s Attorney General’s Office and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. I also worked occasionally with the Department of Justice and the Department of Agriculture.
If you have think you’ve been discriminated against or if someone has accused you of discriminating against them please call me to discuss what happened. My phone is 804-475–8869. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We are lucky to have engaged JC as our attorney when we became involved in a lawsuit. His guidance, expert advice and calm demeanor helped us make the right decision when working with him to handle our situation. His depth of knowledge in fair housing and tact in dealing with opposing counsel are unparalleled. If we ever hear of anyone needing advice in the fair housing arena, we will recommend JC without reservation.” – Scott M., Caroline County, VA.