Does Fair Housing Act apply on commercial property?

Fair Housing Act

Does Fair Housing Act apply on commercial property?

Landlords are required to abide by the rules against various forms of discrimination in leasing or risk facing penalties that can be fairly severe. California has rigorous regulations forbidding these practices. The renter is entitled to monetary compensation, legal costs, and—possibly most importantly—access to the very property that had previously been denied.

The Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. 3601 et seq., forbids discrimination by direct housing providers, including landlords and real estate companies, as well as other organizations, including municipalities, banks or other lending institutions, and homeowners insurance companies, whose discriminatory practices prevent people from obtaining housing because of: race or color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status, or disability.

The Fair Housing Act applies to commercial facilities used for housing, including apartment complexes and fixer-uppers. It follows that a developer purchasing a home to remodel or demolish cannot be treated unfairly. However, the Fair Housing Act might not apply to hotels and other facilities used for short-term lodging.

Corporate tenants may also be entitled to fair housing protections, which include protection from discrimination based on membership in any protected class. For instance, a housing complex’s retail areas can be considered fair housing.

The Civil Rights Act of 1866 also prohibits discrimination based on race in commercial real estate transactions. The act states that “All citizens of the United States shall have the same right, in every State and Territory, as is enjoyed by white citizens thereof to inherit, purchase, lease, sell, hold and convey real and personal property.”

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